November 27, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria officials to meet property owners over stormwater fees

ELYRIA — City officials are organizing meetings with the owners of 20 properties with the most impervious surfaces in Elyria to let them know they likely will pay the most when the city begins its storm water management program next year.

“Impervious” means artificial surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots and concrete driveways. The top billers also are the top businesses and employers in the city — BASF, Elyria Schools, Midway Mall, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and the Elyria Foundry, to name the top five.

Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said each meeting is with the city’s stormwater consultant, herself and city Engineer Tim Ujvari and is used to walk the property owners through the program, how it will affect them and how they can mitigate costs.

Council is still evaluating the program, Siwierka said.

Additional letters also went out to businesses and property owners that fall into the top 300 category.

The program will generate millions each year to fund improvements to the city’s sewer system. The city also has to address how much storm water runs into the Black River and, ultimately, Lake Erie, which is made more difficult because certain areas of Elyria have a combined storm water-sewer system.

Ujvari said funds also will be used to improve conditions in several flood-prone areas.

The first reading of legislation dealing with the program took place Monday. If Council sticks to its timetable, a public hearing will be Aug. 4, followed by a vote.

The fee will be assessed to all city property owners — commercial and residential.

Most residential property owners will pay $4.33 per month in the first year and $5.33 per month and $6.24 per month in years 2016 and 2017, respectively.

In recent weeks, an advisory committee of 17 people has met to shape the program. Its input has resulted in an increase in the amount of money dedicated to capital improvements and an increase in the credit program being developed for large property owners.

“It’s a good and fair plan, something we have to do,” said Councilman Jack Baird, R-at large.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

TOP STORMWATER FEES

  • BASF
  • Elyria Schools
  • Midway Mall
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
  • Elyria Foundry
  • Ridge Tool
  • First Interstate Development
  • Bendix
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Lorain County
  • Moen
  • Northern Ohio Investments
  • Nick Abraham Automotive
  • Colonial Oaks Mobile Home Park
  • Sears
  • Twin Lakes Mobile Home Park
  • Pikewood Manor
  • Sommer’s Mobile Leasing
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • University Hospitals


  • Mark B

    The Taxpayers have paid for this with 3 previous tax and water bill increases already , now that the city thinks we have all forgotten about the previous taxes / increases here they come again with another burden on the property owner.

  • Pablo Jones

    If that list is in order I question the accuracy of some of those listings.

  • Sis Delish

    Just imagine if you owned Lake Erie… nowhere for water to go but INTO THE LAKE!

  • Pablo Jones

    Where does the city and it’s properties fall? Police building, Firehouses, City Hall, etc. Those payments should at least be worked into their budgets, so that they pay their fair share.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    looks like it’s time for raises in the water and sewer departments…………..

  • Melissa Merrill Snyder

    I seem to remember that when this first was being talked about, there was going to be reductions in cost to businesses with retention ponds and the like. Will homeowners with rain barrels receive the same reduction in cost?

  • Robert Pugsley

    This program is an EPA UNFUNDED MANDATE, part of the Clean Air and Water Act. The fees will raise $1.00 per month for three years and after that it could go much higher ( it depends on how much more the regs change) and will never end. All Fed, county, city properties are exempt. The charge is based on the average of 1700 sq. ft of impervious material per property and multiples of that base. Businesses will have possible exemptions available, home owners are screwed. Sorry Jack but this not a good and fair plan, something we have to do- the city can say NO, we are broke and can’t comply. We pay Fed taxes and it should be paid for from that. Yes the Fed can penalize the city and charge fines- give them all of the empty stores and factories! This is not just Elyria, it is a Federal program. In order to stop this, all the cities, all the pols, all the citizens need to come together and JUST SAY NO, WE CAN’T and WILL NOT TAKE ANYMORE.
    This program is not a tax for water pollution— it is a tax on our individual existence.

  • Mark B

    Just another way for Elyria to be Business Friendly . Soon no one will be able to afford to live in Elyria , unless you are on giverment assistance