RENO, Nev. (AP) — The city of Reno is proposing a new utility fee to help pay for a backlog of stormwater projects and repairs that will cost the city more than $400 million over the next 20 years.
City officials say such a fee is long overdue. Kerri Lanza, engineering manager for utility services, told the Reno Gazette Journal the city is facing repetitive stormwater problems and flooding city-wide.
Current stormwater operations are funded through sewer fees, but only a small portion is directed to stormwater management. Unlike residential wastewater, stormwater isn’t treated at wastewater plants. Rain that falls and runs off parking lots and driveways flows into storm drains and is carried primarily to the Truckee River.
During heavy storms, rain and snowmelt can cause flooding and impact downstream water quality.
Under the proposed fee, residents would pay an additional $5 to $7 per month. Businesses would have a sliding scale based on the amount of impervious surface on the business premises. Current sewer fees would be eliminated.
Trina Magoon, director of utility services, said the change would generate about $15 million annually compared to the current $5.25 million.
Carson City, Sparks and Washoe County already collect monthly stormwater fees of $8.79, $14.59 and $9.31 per month, respectively.