WARREN Water runoff bills on the way

City council approved the new fee in May.
WARREN -- The first bills charging property owners for water running off their land will be included in utility bill mailings Wednesday.
Homeowners will see an increase of $9.36 on their utility bills, representing the first several months of a $2.50 monthly fee established by city council in May.
Owners of commercial real estate and rental properties will pay more, based on the number of parking spaces, said Tom Angelo, director of the city's water pollution control department.
The legislation that enacted the fee requires that it be paid by property owners, and not tenants, in all cases, he said.
"It has been a task to find all the rental properties and find all the owners for them," he said.
"We are probably going to have to generate 11,000 to 12,000 more bills."
Revenue raising
The new fee is expected to raise between $650,000 and $800,000 a year to pay for the work of seven department employees who concentrate on fixing storm sewers downtown.
Their salaries now are paid by general water pollution control funds, Angelo said.
The workers will now be responsible for storm sewer maintenance programs and public education and outreach throughout the city, Angelo said.
By congressional mandate, the U.S. EPA requires cities of Warren's size to create a six-part program to reduce contaminated runoff to storm sewers.
Aspects of the program include tracking down people who dump pollutants into storm sewers and requiring measures to reduce runoff from construction sites and new developments.
Money generated from the new fee will also pay for repairs to storm lines and drains.

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