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Park Rapids to consider adding monthly storm water utility charge

The city of Park Rapids is looking to implement a storm water utility to finance storm water best management practices.

A storm water utility is a method of financing administration, planning, implementation, construction and maintenance of storm water.

The utility fee is typically charged against all developed parcels within a city based on the premise of "storm water runoff contributors pay."

"We're looking at a $2 per month fee for all residential properties," said city planner Dan Walker.

Parcels zoned multi-family residential, commercial, government, agricultural and industrial will be charged at a per acre rate.

The council is considering the fee in order to help pay for storm water projects such as the southwest reconstruction project slated for this summer.

"The fee is minimal but it should be able to offset some of the assessments that would be charged for these projects," Walker said.

Some commercial or other types of parcels could qualify for credits if they are using best management practices for water runoff. Walker noted Walmart and J&B Foods have done some of this and will likely see credits.

"The storm water utility will also encourage using good practices to save on water runoff," he said.

The annual revenue from a $2 per month residential rate should be about $311,015, according to calculations provided by the city.

A public hearing is scheduled for noon Tuesday, April 27 at the Park Rapids Area Library basement.

Contact Walker at 732-3163 or for more information.

The council also approved additional budget adjustments at its Tuesday meeting, including:

n Reducing overall travel by $4,000.

n Not hiring a seasonal worker for the public works department for a savings of $8,350.

n Deleting $1,500 from the public works capital improvement account.

n Approving a parks board recommendation to use $5,000 in unrestricted donations toward the tennis courts repair.

n Paying the obligatory payment to the Fire Relief Association from liquor store reserves at $27,311.

n Imposing a franchise fee on a gas utility for $2 per account. The council will need to discuss a gas utility at a future meeting and have a public hearing.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561