From the Brighton Standard Blade:
The outcry from residents over the new stormwater fee in Adams County has prompted another public meeting. A group, dubbed Adams County Stormwater Utility Citizens in Opposition, is set to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at Werth Manor Event Center, 8301 Rosemary Dr., in Commerce City. Gary Mikes and attorney Sean Gallagher will present information on a litigation plan to stop the implementation of the county’s new stormwater utility. For more information, contact Gary Mikes at 303-475-0413 or http://www.garymikes.com or visit http://www.stopstormwaterutility.com.
We’ll see if they are as successful and Douglas Bruce and his cronies in Colorado Springs were when voters passed a poorly-worded Issue 300. Anti-tax zealots have severely impacted the city’s ability to deal with stormwater issues, including placing a burden of millions of dollars on the Colorado Springs Utilities enterprise fund budget.
Meanwhile, Adams County is working to correct billing errors in the system. Here’s a report from Yesnia Robles writing for The Denver Post. Here’s an excerpt:
Adams County commissioners approved the stormwater fee last fall, telling residents that new federal mandates and the inability to fund stormwater mitigation from the general fund led them to pass on the tab to residents of the unincorporated county. Not doing so put them at risk for costly federal fines for not complying with the regulations, officials told residents at a handful of community meetings. The fee took effect Jan. 1.
Now the county has hired an outside consultant and is working with temporary staff to review 27,000 bills sent to residents. The county estimates it will spend about $100,000 to correct the errors before April 30, when payments are due.
Of the 6,600 parcels reviewed to date, 2,298 have been adjusted — about a 34 percent error rate. “We knew there was going to be some calculations that would have to be adjusted, but, in part, the photography we used made things more difficult,” said deputy county administrator Todd Leopold. “It was more than we anticipated.”
Residents are assessed based on how much of their property doesn’t allow stormwater to soak into soil. The county estimated that a single-family home would be assessed an average of $62.64 per year. Some residents, however, reported bills as high as $900. Adams County used photography it already had and contracted another vendor to analyze the photos. But, Leopold said, the pictures weren’t detailed enough to differentiate between impervious surfaces — such as roofs or concrete, which repel water — and hard surfaces — such as cracked asphalt or hard dirt, which allow water to soak in.
More stormwater coverage here.