Lexington, KY – Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Winter is upon us, and there is shopping to do and friends and family to visit. Because money is tighter than ever this year, I wanted you to be aware of a new fee that will soon appear on your water bill.
Beginning in January, a new Water Quality Management Fee of $4.32 per month will appear on water bills for single-family homes and duplexes. Apartment complexes and non-residential properties will pay $4.32 per month for every 2,500 square feet of impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, buildings and driveways. Funds from the new fee will pay for badly needed improvements to Lexington’s stormwater sewer system.
In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sued Lexington over violations of the U.S. Clean Water Act. While a number of problems are to blame, the bottom line is that Lexington’s antiquated storm and sanitary sewer systems allow raw sewage to be dumped into our creeks and streams during periods of peak flow and heavy rains. Flooding in Lexington has also posed increased problems for safety, property and our environment. High water marks can be seen from floods of recent years at Ramsey’s Restaurant out Harrodsburg Road and at Webb’s Cleaners on Southland Drive.
These problems have grown worse over decades and pose an enormous public health and safety crisis. To settle the EPA lawsuit and to avoid additional penalties, Lexington has agreed to upgrade its wastewater treatment plants and to resolve problems with our storm and sanitary sewer systems. The cost of compliance with the EPA Consent Decree over the next 11 to 13 years will reach a staggering $250 -