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Charge a Volume-Based Usage Fee to Support Palo Alto's Stormwater Management Fund

This petition had 78 supporters


The Palo Alto, CA City Council is expected to decide upon the ballot measure for the storm drain fee assessment extension at their meeting on Monday, June 27, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Details here:
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/52562

- People who use the stormwater system significantly more than others should pay their proportionate and fair share for using this system.

- Neighbors who pump groundwater to build basements typically discharge between 5 million to over 30 million gallons per basement into the City’s storm drain system.

- So far this year, one residence alone has discharged nearly 30 million gallons into the storm drains per City measurements. This is equivalent to 1,600 times the amount of water a “typical” residence places in our storm drain system in a year.

- The Storm Water Management Fund currently receives no additional fees for usage from users of the storm drains for other than stormwater.

- Our storm drains need to be upgraded and maintained, especially in light of the expected increased risk of floods due to climate change; scientists predict severe and historically unseasonable storms to increase in frequency in addition to sea level rise.

Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater agrees with the recommendations proposed by the residents’ Blue Ribbon Storm Water Advisory Committee. 

The current proposal being considered by Council, if approved, would increase our storm drain fees 2.3% over the current levels, with yearly inflation increases.

Item 14 of the City Staff and the residents’ Blue Ribbon Storm Drain Committee’s joint report, recommends an evaluation of implementing a user fee for point-source discharges (the City's term for discharge other than stormwater to the storm drains).  Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater recommends setting the fee for voluntary use of the storm drains at  $33.74 / 1,000 cubic feet of discharge into the storm drains, with yearly inflation increases.  This rate is equivalent, on a discharge volume basis, to the City’s proposed charge for property owners’ estimated volume-dependent storm drain use.

The detailed calculation is available at http://savepaloaltosgroundwater.org in the blog entry titled “Storm Water Management Fund Action Needed!”

We request:

the ballot measure for extending the Storm Water Management Fund include a volume-based fee of $33.74 per thousand cubic feet for voluntary point source discharges into the storm drain system, indexed to inflation. Discharges into the sanitary sewer system would be charged the then current wastewater rates.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. 



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