Crothersville property owners will soon see a $3 a month increase in their combined water-sewer- trash and recycling bill when they being paying for a new storm water utility.
The fee is expected to generate a little over $25,000 a year to pay for culverts and ditching to improve the flow of surface water after heavy rains.
The town council saw the measure as a way of dealing with the hodge-podge of driveway culvert types and sizes which are contributing to rain water ponding and slowly flowing away.
Additionally, next month the town will be seeking a $500,000 State Community Development Block Grant to improve stormwater collection and increase the drainage capacity of Hominy Ditch— the main drainageway through the middle of Crothersville. Three larger culverts are planned to be installed at Bethany Road, Park Avenue and Kovener Street in addition to clearing trees and shrubs along the west part of the ditch.
A total of $63,700 local match will be paid from the water depreciation and sewer depreciation funds.
One of the criteria which will help the town gain state approval of the grant is the local effort to help alleviate the stormwater drainage problem; thus the implementation of the stormwater utility fee.
“This will be useful in gaining grants…a necessity really,” town council president Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson said at the meeting.
For now every property owner will be charged a flat $3 regardless of the amount of roof or paving on their property.
But that will be changing for commercial, industrial and institutional properties.
“Homeowners will continue to be charged a flat $3 a month. Commercial, industrial and institutional property will see an incremental increase for each 3,600 square feet,” Robinson said. He added that there was not time to do the calculations needed before approving the utility fee in time to be considered for the October grant application.
“We will be working on that and amending the rates for larger properties later on,” he said.
In other business, the council approved establishing a Crothersville Redevelopment Commission. The new redevelopment commission will be charged with establishing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to help fund utility expansions and improving the town.
“TIF will not mean a property tax increase of any kind for Crothersville residents,” said Robinson.
He explained that a TIF District is established in area of expected growth (such as Crothersville’s industrial park). Governmental entities such as the town, township, school, library and county forego the increase in assessed valuation when that growth occurs. Instead the increased growth of the AV is paid to the Redevelopment Commission that can then use the funding for utility and other improvements in town.