Northampton seeking to improve stormwater bills

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton is looking to improve its stormwater ordinance. 22News found out how the new plan could affect homeowner’s wallets.

Northampton City Council gave its 1st approval to a plan to pay for stormwater upgrades that are necessary in upholding both EPA and U.S. Army Corps standards.

The upgrades will help improve catch basins, storm drain pipes, and help remove pollutants from stormwater. The city currently uses a general fund to pay for stormwater infrastructures.

The Department of Public Works told 22News the general funds aren’t enough money to cover the costs needed for the upgrades.

“There hasn’t been enough money to take care of the things that city this ordinance will put in place a new means through a collection of a fee that residents, commercial properties, and businesses will have to pay,” said James Laurila of the Northampton Department of Public Works.

That fee will be based off a calculation that measures pervious and non pervious areas. If you have less than 2,000 square feet of impervious area you can expect a yearly fee of $61.

The next vote will take place March 20. If approved, the city council will work with the mayor’s office to determine the billing process. The fee will then be in place by July 1st.

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