By Bryan Boggiano
Residents might notice a new item on their tax bills in November: a stormwater utility fee.
The city commission will discuss and vote on establishing a stormwater utility fee at their Wed., May 17 meeting, starting at 7 p.m.
The development comes after KEITH, an engineering firm, and CDM Smith, a construction and engineering firm, assessed stormwater management within the city in 2022. The study also considered stormwater operations and maintenance of the current system.
According to the city’s website, the firms found that limited resources hindered the city’s ability to undertake needed capital improvement projects.
The limited infrastructure also prevented the city from pursuing proactive maintenance and repair programs to improve the existing infrastructure’s condition and effectiveness.
Also, resources allocated for implementing mandatory regulatory programs have enabled the city to achieve only minimal regulatory compliance.
The study’s conclusion for the city’s stormwater management was bleak, giving Parkland a grade between a C-minus and a D-plus. According to the city, that grade means the current program is reactive and has little capacity to implement needed improvements.
Todd DeAngelis, director of communications, said the city hopes to be proactive and generate roughly $500,000 through the new fee.
“While the per-resident amount may be viewed as nominal, that little bit will enable a significant boost to our stormwater operations,” he said.
DeAngelis said continuing to operate reactively will negatively affect the city’s stormwater management operations. He said extreme weather events in South Florida, such as heavy rain events, will continue to degrade operational efficiency.
These events include heavy rainfall from the precursor to Tropical Storm Alex in 2022, historic flooding in Fort Lauderdale in April, and Hurricane Irma grazing the region in 2017.
While the commission will consider the item on May 17, they must host a second hearing and final vote at their June 7 meeting.
If it passes, the commission will establish a preliminary stormwater utility rate at their July 12 meeting. The final rate would be established on Sept. 13.
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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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