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Stormwater fee results expected by Friday

Posted: August 30, 2009 10:28 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
City officials anticipate announcing the results of the stormwater fee ballot by Friday, Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said.

The mail-in ballots for the stormwater fee election were due Aug. 25, and that’s when the city began tallying the votes.

“The ballots are being tallied as we speak,” Ortiz said Friday. “This is a manual process.”

If the ballot measure passes by a simple majority, the city will adopt a new formula for calculating stormwater fees, which will result in an initial decrease in the charge for 86 percent of Santa Clarita homes, according to Travis Lange, Santa Clarita environmental services manager.

However, homeowners could eventually face annual increases to their stormwater fees, as the ballot includes a mechanism to increase the stormwater fee each year, he said. 

The average home would see a rate reduction from $24 per year to $21.50 per year, Lange added. But for properties larger than an acre, the rates would go up.

Larger parcels with lots of hardscape, which contributes more runoff to the stormwater system, could face increases of $40 per year and, in the case of a 15-acre parcel, as much as $400, Lange said. 

After an initial decrease in stormwater fees for the vast majority of homeowners, the City Council could raise rates annually to match inflation.

City officials said that would amount to about a $1 increase most years for most residents.

Stormwater fees are used to maintain, improve and replace storm-drainage facilities in Santa Clarita, Lange said. The fees also go toward monitoring illegal dumping and discharging, he added.


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