Traverse City Manager Pushes for Storm Water Management Legislation

The city manager of Traverse City was recently in Lansing to push for storm water management legislation.

City manager Marty Colburn spoke in front of the Michigan House in support of a bill that would allow municipalities to create storm water utilities.

Colburn says right now, there are a number of legal questions about how Traverse City and other places should pay for storm water management and maintenance.

There’s not a distinct channel, and in T.C., maintenance costs have sometimes had to come out of the street repair budget. House bill 4691 would allow cities to create a utility that could either tax or charge a fee for storm water systems.

Studies show that the storm water system in Traverse City needs $2 million a year in maintenance, which the city cannot afford.

“Pur infrastructure for storm water averages 60 years old,” said Colburn. “Storm water management is very important in terms of being able to protect the properties in the city, whether it’s a house or business, or flooding, it’s important that we do not over load the system.”

The bill was introduced this summer. One of the key questions that still needs to be answered is whether a storm water utility would tax people or charge them a fee.