WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Residents in Williamsport will soon see a new fee on their utility bills. The revenue from the fee will go toward improving the city’s stormwater infrastructure.
The Williamsport Sanitary Authority says the city’s stormwater infrastructure is in need of serious repairs.
So, they’ve decided to enforce a monthly fee for residents and businesses to help with the costs of this new program.
On Wednesday, the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority and the sanitary authority held a public meeting to discuss the issues with their stormwater infrastructure.
“The stormwater system is a state of disrepair. A lot of the catch basins are filled, and a lot of the pipes are filled or collapsed and not performing properly. Which causes flooding for residents. We’re trying to fix this situation for the people of Williamsport,” stated Michael Miller, executive director of Williamsport Sanitary Authority at Williamsport Municipal Water Authority.
But that will come at a cost, households will be charged $10 a month to help fund these repairs.
“This is defineitly not unique to the Williamsport area. We’re seeing a lot of stormwater systems pop up in a lot of the bigger cities and urbanized areas and it’s slowly working its way out to the smaller communities. I think this is something most residents of Pennsylvania should expect to be occurring over the next few years,” explained Miller.
One resident who attended the meeting says initially he was against yet another fee—especially with the rising costs of inflation.
“I have a much better understanding of what’s happened and why it’s happened. I think Williamsport as a city needs to now reduce my taxes by $10 a month because they have transferred that maintenance over to the water authority,” said Lawrence Huber, resident of Williamsport.
Another resident says the news came as a surprise but understands these efforts are about the bigger picture.
“It’s a bit on the high side with expenses the way they are. However, if it’s a matter of protecting against flooding and things like that when you consider the costs, it’s probably not a bad idea. It needs to be done and the longer we wait the more expensive it’s going to be,” stated Mike Gould.
Miller says residents can expect to see the $10 charge reflected in their bill next month.