The Brooking city council is considering implementing a stormwater infrastructure repair fee, most likely on customer’s water bills, to help pay for $5.1 million in projects needed in the next five years.

The council will discuss this at its Monday (Nov. 6) workshop.

Currently, fees are collected for stormwater projects through the System Replacement Fee already in place and System Development Charges assessed on new development.

The replacement fee of $4.25 a month generates about $192,000 each year. Of that, about $55,000 is dedicated to pay off a loan from a storm in 2013; that loan will be paid off in 2023.

The development fee fluctuates, and in recent years, brings the city between $20,000 and $40,000.

Voters approved a gasoline tax in 2015 to pay for road improvements in town. Previously, road maintenance revenue was generated from a replacement fee on water bills, and the logic was that a gas tax would be better related to road wear and use. In exchange for the approval of the gas tax, the city eliminated the Street Replacement Fee on water bills.

Projects that need to be addressed in the next five years include a reroute of pipes on Old County Road, which bears a $1.53 million price tag. Along with that is $210,650 worth of work on Old County Road between Lundeen and Fir streets adjacent to Azalea Park.

Other jobs include a $589,330 job at Tanbark and Railroad streets, some of which is being addressed with the Railroad Street redevelopment project currently underway; a $876,190 project in the Arnold, Rowland and Smith streets area; and a $497,130 project in the Mendy, Art and Pacific streets area.

City Manager Gary Milliman contacted other cities in Oregon to see if, and how much, they charge for stormwater infrastructure. Ashland charges $4.64 for single-family homes, Cannon Beach is set at $4.77, and Newport is $8.25. Others base their fees on how much property is on impervious land, as more water goes into the stormwater system on paved areas such as parking lots.

The towns of Warrenton charges a 20 percent surcharge to sewer fees, Scappoose charges $3.73 and Newberg charges $9.45 for every 2,877 square feet.

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