Erie City Council members will need to look into other ways to pay for city stormwater management.

Council voted no on a plan to use tax payer dollars to pay for storm water management.

The plan was for city residents who benefit from storm water management services to pay a yearly fee. However, city council rejected this idea.

For months now City of Erie officials have been discussing a plan to establish a plan to handle storm water management fees.

City Council members were attempting to replace and improve the storm water system using city tax payer dollars.

Several council members voted no stated that they believe other funds can be used.

“I am for storm water management. I just didn’t want a fee to be placed on tax payer at this time yet,” said Jim Winarski, Erie City Council Member.

Winarski said that instead of using tax payer dollars, the city could use the initial 10.5 million of American Rescue Plan funds to pay for some of the costs operation, repair, and improvement related to storm water management system.

He said that more funds could soon become available.

“Before we pot the burden on the tax payers we have President Biden’s infrastructure bill that was passed maybe some of that money will trickle down this way and we can use some of that funding to help offset any potential fee,” said Winarski.

One city council member who was in favor of the ordinance said that she’s concerned about preserving Erie’s natural resources.

“We have an aging storm water structure. Ed Kissel from the Sons of Lake Erie talked about the importance of storm water management to control pollution in the bay and the lake,” said Liz Allen, Erie City Council.

Despite her concern, Allen believes council members who voted no may need more specific data to make an informed choice.

“To be able to get the additional information at some city council members have requested the administration and possibly we’ll be able to get this passed in this current year,” said Allen.

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