Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 2:25 PM
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District says it will stop charging customers in 61 communities a fee to pay for its controversial storm-water management program, but the reprieve could be only temporary.
Sewer District Executive Director Julius Ciaccia says the utility plans to fight an appeals court decision that it had no authority to enact the program.
“We are going to petition to the Ohio Supreme Court to first take the case, and then hear the case,” he says. “And obviously we will present our arguments to them. I’m sure the other side will too, and hopefully we will get a final determination from them.”
Under the program, storm water fees are assessed on the square footage of impervious material on customers’ properties. The money is to be used to pay for projects to better manage runoff that causes flooding and other damage. The district began collecting the fees in January of this year.
Eleven communities have challenged the program since it began, arguing the fees amount to a tax.
Ciaccia says the district must submit its petition to the Supreme Court by November 11th. The $16 million collected to date will be held in an escrow account pending the outcome.
Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.