Bangor Taxpayers Frustrated With Stormwater Fee
Officials in Bangor held a public meeting on Wednesday night, concerning a fee to support a controversial stormwater utility program. The city is trying to cut down on pollutants washing into the city’s water sources during storms.Bangor has six “impaired” streams, meaning they do not meet federal water quality requirements.In attempt to mitigate the issue, they’ll be charging residents a $22 fee for each three thousand square feet of non-absorbent surface space on their property and an additional $11 per thousand square feet beyond that.The money will be used to fund projects that will create a more effective water runoff system. Letters were sent to property and business owners last week, informing them about the city’s plan.Some businesses face charges worth thousands of dollars.Several frustrated taxpayers called for a specific plan of how these funds will be used and in what timeframe.One resident is already gathering signatures in hopes of forcing a referendum to overturn the fee.Representatives from the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant say it was a staff level decision to not present their plan at tonight’s meeting but rather to explain the issue for sake of time.City Councilor James Gallant says a detailed plan and timeframe for the programâ€™s development will soon be posted on the cityâ€™s website, with a detailed explanation of how the funds will be used. â€œThis is pretty much because of the environmental regulations that the city is having to comply with, and it has to, primarily, with the urban streams here in Bangor, of which there are six, and all of them are impaired streams, and so this is in response, to bring those up to the classifications that the state has maintained that they should be.”If you didn’t make the meeting, there’s a twelve minute informational video about stormwater on the city’s website, bangormaine.gov, or call 992-4480 for more information.