Capital Region Water will delay its new stormwater fee for three months, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason.
The CRW board voted on Wednesday night to begin to impose the fee on Oct. 1, instead of July 1, due to the “economic hardship” resulting from the virus.
“While the delay is intended to provide temporary relief to our customers, it does not diminish Capital Region Water’s commitment to improving local water quality, the associated regulatory responsibility, or the financial cost of system stewardship,” said CRW board Chair Marc Kurowski, in a statement.
CRW voted last year to begin charging its Harrisburg customers a separate stormwater fee on Jan. 1, a date later moved up to July 1 and now delayed until October.
Under the plan, most residential customers will be charged an additional $6.15 per month. That amount equates to $74 per year. The non-residential rate will fluctuate based on the amount of impervious surface on commercial properties.
Currently, the cost of stormwater service is included in the wastewater fee. CRW has said that customers should see a slower rise in the wastewater portion of their bill once stormwater service is separated out.
CRW plans to spend some $315 million over the next 20 years to slash the amount of wastewater that flows into Paxton Creek and the Susquehanna River during heavy rains. That plan relies heavily on building out green infrastructure to prevent stormwater from overwhelming the city’s antiquated combined stormwater/wastewater system.
“Millions of dollars of system repair and maintenance are necessary to address decades of deferred investment in both the combined and separate stormwater systems,” Kurowski said.