At their March 18 meeting, the Northampton Borough Council discussed stormwater management fees to be in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and Pennsylvania’s Clean Stream Laws. The fee program would also be beneficial to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program, which requires the borough to reduce the amount of sediment and siltation entering public waterways by 2022.
Councilman Robert McHale presented council with some preliminary information on stormwater management fees following a conversation at a previous meeting. This was done so that all council members could get an idea of what the fee program would look like, how fees would be calculated, and to see if they would be on board for such a program; nothing is set in stone yet.
The stormwater fee would be based on the amount of impervious land on a property. One way that this fee could be calculated, according to McHale, is to take the amount of revenue needed and divide it by the amount of impervious land in the borough. For example, McHale took $400,000 of necessary and 580 acres of impervious land, which equals about 1.6 cents per square foot.
This stormwater fee program would include tax-exempt, residential, and commercial properties alike. In most cases, a fee program would save residents money compared to increasing the budget. While council has not yet decided anything on the program, McHale did point out that the program fee can be decreased (or increased) at any time and the extra cost could be added to borough resident’s quarterly sewer bills.
Further discussion on the stormwater fee program will be held at council’s April 15 meeting to give councilmembers time to look over the information presented and inform the public.
In other business, borough council gave final approval for the Willow Brook Farm Phase II project that was discussed at the March 10 planning commission meeting. LeRoy Brobst and Anthony Lopsonszki, Jr. met with a promising candidate for junior councilmember; she will be a junior at the start of next school year and seemed enthusiastic about the opportunity.
Finally, council considered a request from KIDS Swim Club to use the municipal pool for practice, swim lessons, and swim meets, since they are unable to use the school district’s pool. Council decided to table the request until their next meeting so they can talk to the school district before making a decision.
The next Northampton Borough Council meeting will be on Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.