Rock Hill Councilman suggests new plan for storwater repairs

Posted July 21, 2014 10:14 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

This year, Rock Hill City Council advanced a plan to take a “pay as you go” approach to funding a series of improvements to an aging and inefficient city-owned system known for frequent overflows.

The new fees, effective July 1, add an average of $.71 to residential utility bills and an average of $3 commercial customers’ utility bills. The City of Rock Hill expects to raise around $700,000 per year from the additional fees to pay for approximately $6.1 million in repairs.

“It’s almost like a drop in the bucket,” Rock Hill City Councilman John Black said on Monday’s edition of “Straight Talk.”

Black said the extra revenue is little more than a band-aid towards fixing the city’s stormwater issues that have likely reappeared twice in the last seven days following torrential rains. Instead, Black suggests his fellow council members tackle the issue head-on.

“Why fix six or eight or ten projects or $10 million when we can bond something much larger with the support of the citizens and maybe really make a dent in this?”

Black said while he hasn’t yet through the full bond referendum idea through, he has suggested it to city staff. In November, 2013, city staff and council identified a list of 24 priority stormwater projects worth $16.6 million.

During Monday’s program, Black mentioned a possible $60 million price tag to pay for the improvements.

City of Rock Hill spokeswoman Katie Quinn said Monday the residential revenue from the additional stormwater fees will address the “pay as you go” punch list, while additional commercial revenue will address the major, larger-ticket projects.