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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salisbury Hears From Berlin On Stormwater Utility

SALISBURY — The city of Salisbury is taking early steps to explore a new potential stormwater utility, looking to nearby communities like Berlin for initial guidance.

Salisbury should pursue the establishment of a stormwater utility, according to Berlin Mayor Gee Williams. He told the Salisbury City Council that it has been a fruitful course so far for Berlin, though at times a challenging one.

“If there’s anything that I want to make sure I leave with you today, it’s that I really believe that, during our experience, that there were a lot of lessons learned,” Williams said. “You should have every confidence that this is a process that you can not only survive but in which you can succeed. I encourage you not to fear what you are getting into.”



Anonymous said...

For those of you paying attention this is the rain tax. It will be in Salisbury soon. They never seem to talk about how it will impact businesses like grocery stores, who are required by regulations to have huge parking lots. If this is passed your grocery bill will go up. No doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

The eastern shore is exempt from this tax. How greedy for money must you be to pass a law not mandated. This is a money grab. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Right there is no mandate for the rain tax here, however, our mayor Ireton volunteered to the governor the tax on the people of Salisbury.

Anonymous said...

urban sprawl will not be a problem with the new tier mapping and the AFG policies to be released soon

Anonymous said...

Large commercial buildings like grocery stores and malls already have runoff free stormwater management basins, culverts, and ponds. They paid dearly for these systems when building in the first place. To tax them in the name of stormwater runoff is just plain wrong.

But. Ireton wants to do it anyway?

Gary B said...

So, John Doe traded in his old, sun faded, rusty car that he kept parked in the driveway for a brand new stylish sportd coupe. Proud of his new car, he realized that in a few years of sitting in his driveway, this nice shiny car may fade and rust like the last one, so he took pencil in hand and drew up plans for a garage.

It was a 1 1/2 car version so he could keep other things like the lawn tractor and things, and still leave room for some work space. It had a large overhead door, and an entry door facing the house.

He went to a local builder to get an estimate on the garage to see what the project would cost. After getting the estimate, John did a cost vs. benefit analysis to see how much longer he could go before he would have to replace his car and lawn equipment to see if the garage costs would be worth it.

After seeing a potential savings, he then hired the builder, and a few weeks later, the garage was finished and John was able to park the new sports coupe inside so that it would be preserved and protected from weathering, and thereby giving the car's life more sustainability.

His Governor, Martin O'Malley, has a storm water runoff problem in his state. Rain is falling onto rooftops and driveways and running right down the streets, into pipes, and diractly into the streams and rivers, polluting them. The rain isn't falling on the bare ground ans soaking in like it's supposed to, which acts as a giant filtering mechanism, purifying the water before it gently seeps into the aquifer, streams, and rivers. Nope, it's running past that and polluting the waterways.

So, John's Governor decides to put his foot down and offer up to all the Municipalities that agree that "something must be done to stop this" an idea. The idea is to make the people pay money to the state for every square foot of roof and driveway they own in order to clean up the waterways. To everyone's astonishment, many municipalities whose proprietors are friends with John's Governor agree to this new Tax!

They pass the tax, but nobody knows how much to charge. What will "it" cost? The Governor has not drawn up any plan like John did. He has no idea what kind of machine or system to build that would purify the water before it finds its way to the waterways. He has nothing to build so he and his friends don't even know how much to charge their residents for the square feet of roofs and driveways! They reason that at the very least, they will have to hire people to send out bills, collect and count the money, oversee the money counters, and set up accounts to put the money in, so they decide that, well, $X.00 per square foot will cover those costs plus leave a bunch of money left over to put in the account.

That, folks, is your new rain tax in a nutshell.