By Bryan Boggiano
The city commission unanimously tentatively approved a proposed stormwater fee assessment at their May 17 meeting, when they sent it to a second and final reading for June 7.
That fee could be used for various improvements, including storm sewer cleaning, culvert cleaning and repair, storm system upgrades and replacements, and ecological restoration, among other initiatives.
The rate passage follows a 2022 assessment from KEITH Engineering and CDM Smith, which found the city’s stormwater infrastructure program is mainly reactive and has limited capacity to implement necessary improvements.
According to city documents, Parkland originally contracted with both firms in 2019 to perform a stormwater utility feasibility study, which would establish whether a stormwater utility fee was necessary.
The city commission reviewed those findings at the December 7 Strategic Planning Workshop.
On February 15, the commission passed a resolution stating its intent to establish a stormwater assessment fee in fiscal year 2024. The city subsequently provided the intent resolution to the Florida Department of Revenue, the Broward County Tax Collector, and the Broward County Property Appraiser.
Under state law, while Parkland can collect non-ad valorem assessments for public improvements annually, the commission had to pass the original resolution before March 1 and send it out to relevant organizations by March 10.
If the final ordinance passes on June 7, it would establish a stormwater utility and stormwater utility fund and authorize stormwater assessment collection.
In July, the city plans to adopt a rate resolution and must adopt the final rate by September 15.
While specific rates have not been determined, city staff floated a few tentative possibilities. In areas within the North Springs Improvement District, Cypress Head, and Pine Tree Water Control District, the yearly assessment could be $37.44. City-maintained areas could be $78.24, while The Ranches could see rates at $172.20.
The city estimates the stormwater utility will generate roughly $500,000 in restricted revenue in its first year.
On its first reading, Commissioner Jordan Isrow moved to approve, which Commissioner Bob Mayersohn seconded. It passed unanimously
Mayor Rich Walker said one advantage of the utility fee is it will save the city money on current and future capital improvement projects.
He said, “I don’t want to have to pay any more money than I have to, but this is something that does benefit the City of Parkland.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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