Lower Paxton planning to adopt stormwater fee in 2019

Lower Paxton Township plans to implement a stormwater fee on all property owners in 2019 to help cover projects needed to meet stormwater requirements under the federal Clean Water Act.

Over the past few years, a growing number of local governments across Pennsylvania have been adopting stormwater management fees — a fee determined by the amount of impervious space on a property — to help cover rising costs to maintain underground pipes, inlets, detention basins and other stormwater infrastructure.

For Lower Paxton Township, the commonwealth’s 17th largest municipality, annual stormwater management costs are going up to about $3.6 million next year from about $2.5 million. The township said it needs to reduce sediment from stormwater discharges and stream bank erosion to improve the health of Paxton, Beaver and Spring creeks and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

To meet the cost of the regulations, the township is planning to add a quarterly fee on sewer bills. The township has not yet voted on the fee amount, though a $32 per quarter fee has been recommended by consultants.

Lower Paxton has scheduled two public meetings on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 to discuss the structure of the fee. Both meetings will be held at 7 p.m. at the township municipal center on Prince Street.

In Central Pennsylvania, stormwater fees have been adopted in Cumberland and Dauphin communities like Hampden Township, Highspire, Penbrook, Swatara Township and Derry Township. Other communities have been talking about them.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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