Public Meetings: Should Caldwell be Allowed to Tax you for Rain?
From Storm Water Utility Oahu, January, 2020 (edited to induce clarity.)
Defining the Challenge
Rain — millions of gallons — flushes down rooftops, streets and other hard surfaces collecting dirt, debris, trash, and more pollutants along the way. Then, as storm water, it makes its way into ditches, drains, and canals that flow into streams and the ocean.
Urbanization and an increase of hard surfaces that don’t absorb water means much of this water runs off the mountains and land, rather than percolating back into the soil, robbing our island’s groundwater supply of replenishment. This excess runoff can create localized drainage flooding issues.
(The challenge: Making rainwater into an excuse for you to pay more taxes.)
Identifying a Solution
recognizing (claiming) that “If Hawaii does not begin planning ahead, ensuring the islands’ supply of fresh water in the future may cost the public a great deal…” Hawaii’s State Legislature adopted a bill that allows counties to set up storm water utilities.
Link: Act 42 of 2015
What is a Storm Water Utility?
Storm water utilities provides municipalities with dedicated, fee-based funding available exclusively for storm water management purposes….
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Community meetings starting on February 3rd – your input is needed!
Download Community Meeting Schedule flyer here.
The City and County of Honolulu has begun a community engagement process to review options for establishing a storm water utility for Oahu. The City’s Department of Facility Maintenance Storm Water Quality Branch is overseeing this process. A stakeholder advisory group, which is meeting through 2020, will help balance community priorities with financial impacts to ensure that a storm water utility will be responsive to Oahu’s needs. The wider community also will have many opportunities to participate in shaping the storm water utility program as the planning process continues. The City will be holding many different outreach events to inform community members about the study and collect their input on considerations for the study.
Stakeholder Advisory Group
The City Department of Facility Maintenance has convened a Stakeholder Advisory Group to provide input on issues and priorities to consider in the study and how to balance the diversity of needs, communities, and environments on Oahu. The Stakeholder Advisory Group composition reflects a cross section of communities, interests, and perspectives. Members represent Oahu neighborhoods, local organizations, and interest groups. The City Department of Facility Maintenance will draw upon recommendations of the Stakeholder Advisory Group and present findings to City Council for consideration.
Learn more about the Stakeholder Advisory Group