Stormwater fees now really overdue


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If you haven't paid your Stormwater fees yet, there's a good chance that you're opposed to the fees on some deep moral level that won't be moved by say, the threat of late fees or having the charges added to your tax bill.

I mean, hey, lots of people have dodged their tax bill with no problem. Like, for instance, Douglas Bruce. Oh, wait ...

Anyway, I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the rest of you, but you just missed the grace period to pay those fees.

Stormwater payments due today
Property owners with past due stormwater fees can make payments to the City of Colorado Springs by 5 p.m. today, September 30, to avoid having the amount turned over to the El Paso County Treasurer for billing with the 2012 property tax invoices. Accounts will be submitted to the Treasurer the week of October 10, 2011. Once submitted to the Treasurer, an administrative fee is added to the total.

To make a payment, please call (719) 385-5903, option 3. Extra staff has been put on duty to answer the calls and process payments today. Callers reaching voicemail should leave their name and number for a return call. Staff’s goal is to return all messages within one hour. All messages left by 5 p.m. today will be returned today to process any payments. Payments can also be made in person at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 202.

The stormwater fee was set to zero at the end of 2009; however, all amounts billed for quarters prior to January 2010 are still owed by City Ordinance. City Council voted to refer all past due amounts to the El Paso County Treasurer for collection on 2012 property tax bills. The City is offering a grace period through today to accept payments before sending accounts to the Treasurer.

Approximately 96% of the billed fees have been collected and were used to pay for stormwater capital improvement projects, maintenance activities and program requirements for the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. With the ending of the fee, there is no funding allocated for capital projects. Monies in the General Fund are used for the permit requirements and minimal maintenance activities. All past due fees collected will go toward those two stormwater program areas.

Here is some information on outstanding accounts from the City’s Finance Department (all numbers are approximate estimates as these amounts change continuously as payments are processed):

· 17,521 letters were mailed to past due accounts in mid-September with a grace period to pay past due fees up until Friday, September 30, at 5 p.m. before submitting accounts to the El Paso County Treasurer

· Since the letters were mailed, approximately 3,700 accounts have been paid with many more payments expected today, September 30

· Depending on the number of payments received today, the City has estimated approximately 11,000 to 13,500 accounts will be sent to the El Paso County Treasurer the week of October 10th

· The dollar amount of the accounts remaining unpaid is estimated to range between $800K-$1.25M


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