Back to home rule
Five years ago Princeton experienced what many referred to as a hundred-year rain. A couple of weeks ago, another hundred-year rain occurred. I recall storms while growing up referred to as hundred-year rains. It’s inevitable that hundred-year rains are in our future, and so are flooding and sanitary back up issues.
The city has $40 million in unprecedented debt. Paying on this debt is burdensome. Whether we address the north end flooding and sewer issues or the city’s overall sewer problems, the added costs will be great.
To replace or patch repair our extensive sewer problems will necessitate revenue from sources already tapped; utility rates/fees, property and sales tax dollars. I mention property and sales taxes because storm sewers, unlike sanitary sewers, are not a utility. Revenue sources for storm sewers include property and sales tax dollars. Currently revenue from both is pretty much spoken for on a year to year basis. Another option for storm sewers is establishing a new utility. Doing this would add another line item to our utility bills. Flooding that occurs on the northeast end of town is primarily caused by runoff from nearby fields. Depending on how the issue is best solved will determine how the problem is paid for; utility rates/fees, property taxes and/or sales tax dollars. There may also be possible government funds/grants available. Regardless, addressing any of these issues thoroughly will prove costly.
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