The Lowell Town Council is moving quickly to remove its stormwater fees from water utility bills and put them on the tax rolls.
Last month, financial consultant Damon Tsouklis, of Cender and Co. in Merrillville, told the council it needs to consider raising or restructuring its stormwater fees to remain sound.
Matt Lake, president of the city's Stormwater Board, recommended moving the fees to the tax rolls so the town can collect money from all property owners, including those owning vacant spaces that do not receive water bills. All parcels benefit from stormwater management and have an impact, he said.
The council recently agreed to seek public input regarding the change during a hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
Town Manager Jeff Sheridan told the council it must notify Lake County officials by Oct. 31 to accomplish the switch this year.
MS4 coordinator Greg White said the switch would mean property owners, not water users such as tenants, will be the ones footing the bill.
Residents currently pay $7 monthly, commercial property owners pay $14 a month and industries and schools pay $28 per month.