City of Middleton referenda item asks for increase to storm water utility charge

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - An item on the April 2nd ballot will ask Middleton voters to increase the storm water utility charge to $45 from the current annual fee of $15.00. It would only be for the years 2019-2024.

The City of Middleton estimates there is five million dollars in damages to storm water channels and ponds.

City Administrator Mike Davis says FEMA will reimburse some of that money.

“We’re estimating anywhere from one and a half million to three million dollars will need to come from local sources,” Davis said.

Davis says the city’s already seen quite a financial burden.

“It’s been devastating to people psychologically,” he said. “We never anticipated a flood of this magnitude.”

The money FEMA does reimburse is only for prior engineered public projects.

“So it’s an important point of emphasis, much of our creek corridor was not engineered,” said Davis.

The Storm Water Utility pays for what the city needs on an annual basis for repairs to the storm water areas.

Davis says last summer’s flooding put them well beyond that which is why the Common Council has put this item on the ballot.

“This would help us step it up to be a much quicker resolution for our storm water facilities and to keep other priorities moving ahead,” Davis said.

The city expects to hear back from FEMA on how much reimbursement it will get sometime within the next month.

The referenda item reads in full:

“RESOLVED, that due to the devastating impact of the August 20, 2018 storm, the City of Middleton Storm Water Utility shall be permitted to charge customers of the Storm Water Utility an annual charge of up to $45 per equivalent runoff unity from each property, for the years 2019 through 2024 only, to fund repairs to the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor, Tiedeman pond, Stricker Pond and other storm water management features that were damaged by the August 2018 flood, without reducing the levy limit for the charges of the Storm Water Utility.”