Council hears about weather damaged streets and storm-water utility shortfall


Washington Mayor Joe Wellman gave City Council members a packet of homework Monday evening on streets and stormwater.  First, Mayor  Wellman says the city is going to change its road paving plans this year…



     Mayor Wellman says city officials have driven every street in Washington over the past three weeks.  They found that the heavy freeze thaw cycle has severely damaged streets in every area of the community.  Street Commissioner Bryan Sergesketter said some streets will have to be rebuilt down to the base.  


In another matter, the Mayor told the Council that the City’s Storm Water Utility was losing approximately $77,000 per year.  

        The Storm Water Utility was established in 2003 because of a mandate from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to deal with hazardous materials and storm drainage.  The City is currently unable to address several drainage problems because of the deficit in the utilities budget.  Currently, city residents receiving city electric or water service pay flat $3.00 fee on their monthly utility bills, but the Mayor says that is not entirely fair.  


   The Mayor adds that under the current system, vacant properties, no matter how large, do not pay at all.   City Engineer Ed Barnett estimated it will cost the City approximately $200,000 per year over the next ten years to deal with the city’s drainage problems. That’s in addition to the Utility’ approximately $200,000 operating costs.    Mayor Wellman said it is important to do something about the Storm Water Utility Deficit, but to set rates as fairly as possible.