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Residential storm water fees to go up $1.25

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Residential storm water fees are going up 47 percent in Collierville.

The town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to increase the monthly fees from $2.65 to $3.90 Monday night during the regularly scheduled meeting.

Alderman Tom Allen was the lone board member to vote against the increase, citing that it would “take advantage of seniors who are retired and on a fixed income.”

“Its too high,” he said. “It may not sound like a lot of money but if you’re on a fixed income, or you’re retired, you’re salary doesn’t go up.”

Storm water fees provide funding for the town’s water management program for flood control and surface water quality.

The fees were established in 2004 and are collected in a two-rate system for residential and non-residential users.

The storm water fee increase is set to bring in a total of $1.04 million, up from about $760,000. All of the funds will go toward capital improvement projects relating to storm drainage.

All storm water fee revenues will go to capital projects. The 2018 fiscal budget includes $2.6 million in drainage projects.

Drainage projects in the five-year Capital Investment Program budget total $4.1 million and the town’s Development Department has identified an additional $2.5 million in necessary improvements.

Allen added that the “burden” of paying for future drainage projects shouldn’t fall solely on residents.

“If it is going to go up,” he said, “it should be distributed equally between commercial and residential.

In recent years, non-residential fees, which includes commercial property, has gone from $4 to $25 a month.

Alderman Billy Patton noted that businesses in Collierville are already paying their share and emphasized the significance of storm water projects.

He said the town has been approached by “countless people” who have drainage problems on their property.

“This is something the community needs to take care of,” he concluded. “It is needed.”

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