Northwood City council on July 23 agreed to use storm water management funds to excavate a detention pond at the Greenway Estates subdivision near the Woodville Mall to improve drainage in the area.
The ordinance has two more readings before it becomes law.
Council had been debating whether to assess property owners in the subdivision, or use storm water management funds, to finance the project. The area had flooding problems a few years ago.
Some on council were against assessments, saying residents already pay a storm water management fee as part of their water bill. Others said there should be assessments since there are homeowner associations charging residents fees to pay for detention ponds built in their neighborhoods years ago. Council President Connie Hughes, whose neighborhood in the Park Du Langlade subdivision has been assessed $25 per year for the last 37 years to maintain their detention pond, asked council at a meeting on July 2 if there was any opposition to eliminating the fee and letting the storm water management fund pick up the tab.
Council agreed that it would be unfair to continue to assess some residents, and not others. City Administrator Bob Anderson told The Press on Wednesday there will no longer be fees charged to residents living in subdivisions that have detention ponds. Currently, only Park Du Langlade and the North Crest II subdivisions have detention ponds.
“There won’t be anyone who has to pay assessments. The storm water fees will pay for all assessments and maintenance of any detention ponds that we have,” said Anderson. However, in the future, developers would have to include detention ponds in their plans for new subdivisions.
“If we built that subdivision today, one of the requirements would be that it would have a detention pond. The Planning Commission would require that it be in the subdivision,” said Anderson.
The city had already bought property to excavate the pond at Greenway Estates, and had mailed letters last year to residents in the subdivision informing them of plans to build the pond when the issue arose over how the project would be funded.
“So if you factor those things in, and in the spirit of cooperation, council made a decision as to how to pay for it, and identified a funding source for it. That is what was missing in the past,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he will rebid the project, since the original bids expired after 60 days.
“I’d like to see the project begin when all the crops are in, and when the ground gets a little harder and drier, and we won’t disrupt as much as we might have in the summer,” said Anderson.
There is nearly $1 million in the city’s storm water management fund, some of which is used for daily operations.
Currently, a portion of residents’ water bills is earmarked for the storm water management fund, which went into effect five years ago.
The detention pond at Greenway Estates will be excavated on vacant city property east of the subdivision.