CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is planning a Nov. 15 meeting to brief businesses about a proposed increase in stormwater utility fees.
The meeting will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Metro Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE. City staff will present details about the proposal and give business owners and company representatives an opportunity to ask questions and learn how the change will impact their operation.
The Cedar Rapids Public Works Department is recommending that the Cedar Rapids City Council change the current flat rate charge of $4.78 per month for all users to a tiered payment schedule. The monthly stormwater utility fee would be tied to the amount of runoff that comes from a property after a rain shower or storm.
The new rates, if approved by the City Council, would substantially increase the annual fee paid by some businesses and public entities. The Eastern Iowa Airport’s annual stormwater utility fee would soar from less than $1,000 a year to more than $17,000.
City staff is recommending the change in fee structure, in part, to allow the stormwater utility to be a self-sustaining entity, just as the airport, water and sanitary sewer utilities operate. The Public Works Department also argues that the utility is deferring capital projects for lack of adequate revenue.
The City Council will hear the proposal on Nov. 13. Following that meeting, three public hearings likely will be held at the next three council meetings before there is a vote whether or not to adopt the change.