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CAPITAL REGION WATER BOARD EXTENDS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR STORMWATER FEE PROPOSAL AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Public Comment Period Now Runs through October 22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tanya Dierolf

717.216.5259                                                                                                                                                                              

CAPITAL REGION WATER BOARD EXTENDS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

FOR STORMWATER FEE PROPOSAL AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Public Comment Period Now Runs through October 22

 

HARRISBURG, PA (Sept. 26, 2019) — Capital Region Water’s Board of Directors on Wednesday extended by one month the public comment period for its proposed Stormwater Fee and Implementation Plan. The public review and comment period now runs through Oct. 22, 2019.

In the three months since the proposal was first unveiled on June 25, Capital Region Water has spearheaded or participated in 47 meetings, public forums and open houses, speaking directly to many of the largest impervious surface property owners in the city providing presentations to residents and various neighborhood and community groups at events throughout the city. Over 70 written and oral comments already have been received.

 

The month-long extension will enable even more residents to make their voices heard as Capital Region Water plans additional meetings with neighborhood groups and some of the remaining large impervious surface property owners in Harrisburg. The extension also includes a presentation planned in coordination with Harrisburg City Council in council chambers on Oct. 15.

 

“I want to commend staff who have worked so hard over these last three months to engage residents and property owners in every corner of the city, and all of us at Capital Region Water are grateful to the many residents who have already shared their views,” Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer said. “This has been a robust process. The month-long extension will ensure we have done all we can to give residents the opportunity to review and comment on a plan that is designed to improve the health of local waterways and enhance our neighborhoods.”

 

The proposed Stormwater Fee and Implementation Plan will generate about $5.3 million annually in a dedicated fund for stormwater operations and projects to control sewer overflows (CSOs) and reduce polluted runoff. The fee is part of a larger plan, CRW’s City Beautiful H2O Program, to invest $315 million over the next 20 years to continue work that reduces combined sewer overflows, addresses localized flooding and runoff, and meets federal and state clean water obligations.

 

Capital Region Water’s plan hits the target of approximately 80 percent of CSO volume in a way that is affordable to city residents. (For more information about the capture rate, please view the chart on Page 33 of Capital Region Water’s City Beautiful H2O Program Plan.) Some of the city’s infrastructure is more than a century old in some places, making it a challenge to upgrade and maintain, which has been compounded by years of deferred maintenance. CRW has already invested more than $110.7 million in capital projects since 2013.

 

Under the proposed fee, residential customers will pay $1.3 million less each year than if these costs are included in the wastewater rate. The historical practice of funding stormwater expenses based on water consumption is less equitable than if a stormwater fee is assessed. With a stormwater fee, residential customer would pay $1.24 million of the $5.3 million annually – or 23.3 percent, their fair share compared to relying on wastewater rates. Without the stormwater fee, residential customers would pay $2.55 million each year, or 48 percent of the total cost.

 

Public comments will be accepted online, by mail, and in person at future meetings. All relevant documents and an opportunity to provide comments are available at capitalregionwater.com/cbh2o/. A hard copy of the proposal and plan is also available at 212 Locust Street, Suite 500, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Community organizations, businesses, and other interested parties are invited to request additional presentations of the Plan by phone at 888-510-0606 or email at info@capitalregionwater.com.

 

Tanya Dierolf | Sustainability & Strategic Projects Manager

888‑510‑0606 | 717-216-5259 (o)

Capital Region Water

212 Locust Street, Suite 500 | Harrisburg, PA 17101

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