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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Anna Maria moves to adopt stormwater fee

Acting on the heels of their sister Island cities, Anna Maria city commissioners unanimously approved a motion last week to have City Attorney Jim Dye draw up the appropriate resolution authorizing the city to implement a stormwater assessment fee.

The resolution just announces the city's intent to implement the fee, said Commissioner Duke Miller. The "nuts and bolts" of how much the assessment will be, duration, and what projects to complete will be decided by the city commission in January 2005. The resolution of intent, however, has to be given to the Manatee County tax appraiser's office by Jan. 1, 2005, for the city to implement the fee in the 2005-06 budget cycle. The county would collect the fee for the city.

"But we can always decide not to go ahead," noted Commissioner Dale Woodland, who, along with city resident Chris Collins, authored a draft document for commissioners on what the fee would be based on, the amount charged for residential and business owners and how long the fee would be in place. The draft document suggested a residential fee ranging from $60 to $120 annually, depending upon the number of projects the commission wants to complete in a specified time frame, either five or 10 years.

Capital improvements advisory committee chairperson Larry Albert agreed to have the CIAC put together a priority list of projects and other data for commissioners to review in a joint meeting in January.

Commission Chairperson John Quam suggested the public hearings to implement the fee be held in February. He emphasized that any fee passed by the commission won't affect the 2004-05 budget.

Any fee collected would only be for stormwater drainage improvements, according to state statute, said Woodland, and could not be used for roads or other construction.

Stormwater assessment fees are already in place in Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.