N. Chs collects $1M more in stormwater mgt fees, several projects underway

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s been one year since the City of North Charleston decided to increase its stormwater management utility fees, a change that generated about $975,000 more to the city this year thanks to taxpayers.

In June of 2018, North Charleston City Council approved the increase of stormwater utility fees and those fees went into effect at the end of 2018.

The city collected about $5 million in stormwater fees in total for the 2018-2019 budget.

The money is being used to help the city improve drainage.

Tyshon Richardson knows the troubles that come with flooding.

"My whole yard would get super wet, soaked, plants wouldn't grow because of oversaturation and pipes would get build up with sewage and stuff like that," Richardson said.

Right now there are more than 10 projects that are underway and a couple that have been recently completed including a Pepperhill and McChune Branch Drainage Study and the Forest Hill Phase 2 Pipe Lining Repair.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says they create these additional funding opportunities to pay for studies and to implement the recommended changes.

"Each five years or so they come out with a new study that the flood plain has increased and you can argue whether that's from global warming you can argue whether it's from additional construction that has occurred, the fact is it's a problem no matter what is causing it," Summey said.

City officials say the the majority of the fees are collected from the commercial and business properties.

"It's important that we anticipate what's coming and that's what the resiliency study does for us it tells us where we are, where we could be, how do we get there and how do we handle the issues that can come up and most probably will," Summey said.

Richardson says he's glad the city is addressing flooding issues.

"Every single time hurricane season comes around nothing happens and they have to shut down a lot of schools districts because certain homes get flooded....I think it's a great idea that they're doing drainage," Richardson said.

Summey says there's not a quick fix.

"The problem is the study happens, then you contract the work out you get it done," Summey said.

Here’s a list of the recent projects provided by the City of North Charleston, their status and estimated costs:

ProjectStatusEst. Cost

Pepperhill/McChune Branch Drainage Study

Completed

$98,200

Forest Hills Phase 2 Pipe Lining & Repair

Completed

$430,000

Ashley Villas Phase 2 Drainage Improvements

Completed/Close-out

$406,000

Nafair Drainage Evaluation

Draft Completed

$23,400

Turner Street Drainage Improvement

Permitting/Preparing for bid

$86,000

Fretwell Street Drainage Improvement

Preliminary design analysis

$160,000

Willis Street Drainage Improvement

Permitting/Preparing for bid

$70,000

Pepperhill Park Drainage Improvement

Permitting

$150,000

Nantucket/Newport Drainage Improvement

Design

$50,000

Accabee Drainage Improvements Phase 2

Permitting/Preparing for bid

$400,000

Ashley Villas Drainage Improvements Phase 3

Permitting/Preparing for bid

$600,000

Union Heights Drainage Improvements Phase 3

Easements

$500,000

Forest Hill Phase 3 Pipe Lining and Repair

Preliminary Planning

$500,000

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