Having to deal with aging infrastructure, 52-year-old Coral Springs may introduce a stormwater utility fee to fund various improvements in different parts of the city.
The city has traditionally depended on the general fund for stormwater activities; introducing the fee would provide the city a sustainable revenue source, as well as generate the money needed for improvements. The City Commission will consider the issue later this year.
As many as 17 cities in the county already have stormwater fees, Peter Moore, city engineer, told city officials at a workshop earlier this year.
To calculate the fee, a single-family home will be considered an equivalent residential unit (ERU) while 5000 square feet of commercial will constitute one ERU. Condos and multi-family residential units will count as 0.75 ERU each, while a vacant parcel will be 0.5 ERU. The city has 24,916 single-family residential units; 12,370 condos; 9,420 multifamily residential units; and 951 commercial parcels.
The fee in cities within the county ranges from $1.20 per month for a unit in Cooper City to a high of $14.02 per month in Lauderhill. The county average per month is $4.97. Introducing a fee of $2.63 per month, or $31.56 per year, will give Coral Springs an additional annual revenue of $1.7 million, while $3 per month will fetch $1.93 million.
“A vast majority of cities in the county have fees between $4 and $6 per month,” said Moore. “We will need $2.63 per month to do what we want to do in five years.”
The idea of introducing such a fee comes in the backdrop of studies done in the Meadows and Dells, Westchester, Corporate Park and downtown areas. Among the capital improvement projects that the city plans to take up are the sidewalk and drainage project on NW 110th Avenue, drainage improvements at Meadows and Dells, drainage at the Corporate Park and Westchester, and downtown water-quality upgrades.
“This is something that we have been working on for the last couple of years,” said City Manager Erdal Donmez. “We are 50 years old; our infrastructure is getting old. We can either do a little bit at a time or find extra funding.”
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