Groveport water and sewer customers will see two additional fees on their bills starting in July.
The new fees for residential customers will be a semi-annual $12 stormwater utility fee paid to the city of Groveport and a quarterly fee of about $5.25 paid to the city of Columbus Clean River Fund (CRF).
The CRF will be assessed because Columbus provides Groveport with sanitary sewer services. The combined fees could mean an additional $45 per year on Groveport residential water and sewer customers’ bills.
Stormwater utility fee
Commercial properties will be charged a stormwater utility fee based on the size and amount of impervious surface on the property.
The purpose of instituting the stormwater utility fee is to establish a funding source for stormwater management projects to maintain and improve the city’s stormwater system. Stormwater utility fees provide for a comprehensive stormwater management program, a capital improvement project program to address neighborhood and street flooding, maintenance of stormwater infrastructure and programs to ensure compliance with Ohio EPA regulations.
Groveport enacted its stormwater utility fee in 2008, but never implemented the collection of the funds until now.
The purpose of the CRF is to support the Wet Weather Management Plan, a 40 year, $2.5 billion capital improvement sewer program. The funds help maintain and improve sanitary sewer lines to help limit wet weather infiltration and inflows, reduce pollution from sewer overflows in waterways and reduce sewer back-ups into homes.
Businesses will pay a CRF fee according to their number of ERU’s (equivalent residential units) or essentially by how large their building is. For Columbus, 2,000 square feet equals 1 ERU.
Groveport Acting Finance Director Jeff Green told Groveport City Council at its Jan. 17 meeting that, since 2006, the city of Groveport has been paying as much as $19,000 per quarter in CRF fees for Groveport water and sewer customers.
"I can’t explain why (the city of) Groveport has been paying this (instead of the customers)," said Green.
Groveport officials said neither the stormwater utility fee nor the CRF fee will be charged retroactively to water and sewer customers.
Green said the plan is to include information about the fees in the second quarter water and sewer bill mailings. Councilman Ed Dildine suggested that open public forums be held in June to help explain the fees.