The West Chester Borough Council Public Works Committee made a 3-0 recommendation on Monday to send out a request for proposal (RFP) as the borough continues to move forward with the implementation of a storm water fee.
“We need to institute a new program,” said borough council and committee member Chuck Christy. “We need everyone to pay. Right now, it’s just the property owners, but we need to get the university, the churches, everyone.”
The request for proposal includes several tasks for whoever would be brought on to carry out the proposal.
The RFP includes a feasibility task as well as public education and program cost and development.
The RFP also includes a clause that would allow the borough to back out of the program if it proves to be too expensive from the get-go.
Borough Manager Ernie McNeely estimated that if the borough were to institute a storm water fee it would take approximately six months to a year to fully implement.
The borough has been pursuing a storm water fee for the last several months as a way to increase borough revenues in future years.
According to McNeely, the borough is 99 percent developed with 35 percent of the borough’s square footage occupied by tax-exempt properties like West Chester University and Chester County Hospital.
The storm water fee is a way for the borough to extract some revenue from those properties that were previously tax-exempt.
“You pave; you pay,” Christy said referring to the fact that the fee would be based on a property’s impervious coverage.
“We need to get everyone involved,” Christy said.