Latrobe eyes addition of stormwater management fee |

Latrobe eyes addition of stormwater management fee

Jeff Himler
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
The city of Latrobe municipal building, at Jefferson and Main streets.

Latrobe property owners can expect next year to begin paying a proposed stormwater management fee, but city officials have yet to pinpoint how much they will be charged.

Council is expected in November to act on the proposed fee, which would be added to existing quarterly billing for other city services, solicitor Zachary Kansler said this week.

Before finalizing the fee structure and a related ordinance, Latrobe officials plan to meet with representatives from other communities that have similar fees in place, he said.

“We’re meeting with other municipalities to see what they’ve experienced, how we can tweak it,” he said.

Instead of drawing money from its general fund, the city would use proceeds from the stormwater management fee to help pay for state-mandated steps intended to reduce the amount of sediment carried by runoff and deposited in the Loyalhanna Creek.

City Manager Michael Gray, who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting, said in April the city expects to spend about $2 million to implement a five-year plan for annually reducing deposits into the creek by 10% — the equivalent of a minimum of 114,700 pounds of sediment held back each year.

Latrobe already sweeps debris from streets and cleans storm inlets to help keep sediment in check, Gray has said. He said the city might take additional measures, such as developing rain gardens, planting trees or installing stormwater detention ponds.

Kansler explained the fee would be based on the amount of impervious surfaces on a property, which contributes to stormwater runoff. He said the city has determined an average impervious area among Latrobe’s residential lots but is waiting for its consultant, Gibson-Thomas Engineering, to complete a survey of larger properties.

“Once we have all the commercial and nonprofit numbers in, we’re going to re-evaluate everything so that the budget is balanced,” Kansler said of the stormwater fee. “We can’t have too much (in fees) coming in.”

Gray has said residents would have an opportunity to reduce their fee by investing in “best practices” of stormwater management on their own lots — such as replacing a traditional paved driveway or walkway with a permeable surface that allows water to seep into the ground.

Neighboring Derry is among Westmoreland municipalities charging property owners to help offset stormwater management costs. Monroeville and Mt. Lebanon are among Allegheny County communities that have initiated similar fees.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.