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WL property owners begin paying stormwater fee

The New Year means a new fee for West Lafayette residents.

It’s being assessed on homes and businesses to address stormwater issues, such as flooding and pollution run-off to the Wabash River.

Mayor John Dennis says the fee is needed to meet federal and state environmental requirements.

“The expectation is that the water within our community is going to be both swimmable and fishable. In order to do that, there has to be certain engineering initiatives that need to be accomplished,” he says. “This stormwater utility is basically going to give us the revenue stream to be able to do that – to get the city of West Lafayette in compliance with those regulations.”

Residential properties will see an eight-dollar a month charge, while all other properties will pay a rate based on their “impervious surface area” – the size of any buildings and parking lots. The fee is expected to bring in $1.3 million a year.

Lafayette instituted a similar fee in 2011, but Tippecanoe County has not decided if it needs to put a fee in place.

Council president Roland Winger says the same rules affect everyone.

“The county currently faces additional spending demands in order to maintain compliance with the new regulations – that’s known,” he says. “The timelines haven’t been set such that we have our backs against the wall, so we’re just now starting to see what the impact is going to be to us, financially.”

He says the county will try to cover as much of the cost as possible without a new fee.

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