Residents voice opinions on stormwater fee

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The controversial stormwater fee hopes to curb pollution from entering the Chesapeake Bay, but residents say it’s an unfair tax.

Now some lawmakers are weighing in on the subject. A meeting of Luzerne County Council’s legislative committee was held Tuesday evening in Wilkes-Barre with a chance for residents to let their constituents know their feelings.

The people of Luzerne County made their voices heard loud and clear: Get rid of the mandated stormwater fee.

“The more people tell their legislators they are unhappy about something, the more they’ll take notice,” council member Walter Griffith said.

The Luzerne County legislative committee gave their constituents the opportunity to sound off to lawmakers Tuesday.

“The tax payers, land owners in Luzerne County cannot afford this fee,” Representative Dan Meuser, (R) 9th District, said.

The congressman says Washington needs to retract and reevaluate the situation by bringing together the two agencies that can fix it. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Protection.

“If we can sit them down and evaluate where we are and how upset and rightfully so the people of this county and many other counties throughout my district are, I believe that we can find a resolution that will be acceptable,” Meuser said.

Luzerne County council members say they agree.

“We have to get legislation together to either stop the federal mandate, file the injunctions whatever we have to do to make this thing not go away, because we certainly want clean water but we want to make sure it’s fair,” Griffith said.

Among the crowd Tuesday night was a Luzerne County woman who owns multiple properties.

“I don’t know where they think the people are getting the money. I have four properties and I don’t even have sewers on the four properties, only on one. And I’m getting charged for the other four. Now that’s not right,” Barbara Brennan said.

Brennan also had a stern message for lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

“What are you actually doing? Nothing! Believe me! We need some action and we need some real God darn good action,” Brennan said.

This federal mandated fee stems from an executive order signed in 2009 by President Obama. The Luzerne County legislative committee will hold another meeting for area business owners to address their concerns about the stormwater fee next month.

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