According to Betsy Yingling, stormwater program manager for NEORSD, the district's Board of Trustees will meet Jan. 7, at which time she expects the board to approve a code of regulations that would allow the assessment to be collected.
Should that occur, the district would work with the Cleveland Water Department
to arrange quarterly billing of customers, with the first bills expected to be sent out in July.
On average, homeowners would pay $4.75 a month for the regional improvements in the first year, Yingling
The assessment would rise slightly each year, according to a draft of the proposal.
The assessment is based on the amount of impervious surface in a property.
Planned improvements could include the construction of water retention and detention facilities and stream improvements, Yingling
One of the main concerns Kostandaras said he
has with the proposed fee is that Summit County officials and residents have no say in the decision.
"This is taxation without representation," he
said the district disagrees.
Board of Trustees is made up of seven members who serve five-year terms.
Out of its seven members, two are appointed by the Suburban Council of Governments, which is made up of representatives of all the communities in the district.
Those two members are selected by those communities.
"Every single community in Summit County
has a vote, an equal vote, whether it's four properties or the entire township [that is in the district]," Yingling
The district also disagrees the money collected only would benefit the Cleveland area.
"The communities will all benefit," Yingling
"When we look at our five-year or 10-year construction plan, we want to make sure money is being returned equitably to the different watersheds."
About 7 percent of the total amount being collected would be from Summit County property owners, Yingling
stressed the sewer district doesn't look at the issue from a political boundary perspective, as water doesn't flow that way.
The sewer district's proposal is not something unique, Yingling
The district reports there are more than 1,000 similarly set up districts around the country, including in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo areas.
"We looked at a lot of other programs around the country," Yingling
"In 2008, we went and visited Denver, which has a huge regional program over multiple counties."
The district would not be surprised if Summit County
does take legal action, Yingling
"It isn't something we didn't anticipate," she
"A number of [similar agreements] have legal challenges when they start up.
We feel confident that in the past two years we put together a solid program that can be defended."
A regional approach to fixing flooding and erosion is what the district thinks needs to happen.
"The bottom line is the problems are getting worse," Yingling