Next year, city property owners could start paying annual stormwater fees, depending on a vote at Wednesday morning’s city council meeting.

Last year, city council voted down the stormwater fees as members stated they needed more information. Wednesday, they will reconsider that fee.

In 2023, city property owners could pay an additional annual fee. Last December, city council rejected this proposal.

Since then, the city hired a consultant to look at the proposed fee structure. Now, they’re recommending it.

“We want to get this fee going, start collecting this money. It’ll be used to pay engineers who are involved in the project and also set aside every year a good amount of it and we’ll have money to fix it before it collapses. It’ll be much cheaper to do that,” said Mayor Joe Schember, City of Erie.

The owners of single-family homes in the city would pay a stormwater fee between $12 and $36 a year, depending on square footage. The president of the city council said she supports the stormwater fee plan.

She added that she’s glad the council had more time to learn about the project.

“I really am happy that the administration did take to heart the objections raised by some council members in 2021. They wanted to know really specifically how can you mitigate those fees,” said Liz Allen, president, Erie City Council.

In July of 2021, the city spent more than $1 million in repairs after a massive storm sewer failure. Allen believes the fee will ultimately benefit city property owners.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this is so there’s a dedicated fund for this, instead of taking it from the general fund. So I think it actually ends up helping residents and taxpayers in the long run,” Allen added.

That city council meeting will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The ordinance must be approved twice before it goes into effect.