Update - Without much discussion, the Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved a measure last night enrolling the city in the county stormwater remediation plan. This means that the city will soon be called upon to contribute to a county fund designed to provide money for new stormwater infrastructure. That contribution will likely be raised in the form of a new tax (or fee, depending on who's describing it) on city residents.
Tonight, the Hyattsville City Council will consider a measure which would enroll the city in a new county stormwater remediation plan designed, ultimately, to clean up the Chesapeake bay.
But the plan costs money to administer, and the vote to go along with the county stormwater remediation plan will be paid by a new tax to fund improvements to stormwater infrastructure in the county.
At its meeting last week, Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources officials gave Hyattsville city leaders wo options: go along with a county imposed "stormwater remediation" tax, or develop its own tax able to meet the provisions of a new Maryland law designed to raise funds and build infrastructure to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The new tax comes as the result of Maryland House Bill 987, which requires county and local governments across the state to create watershed restoration programs by July 2013.
The city has almost no choice in the matter, from a practical standpoint. Hyattsville, a relatively small municipality, does not have the budget or the manpower to administer its own stormwater restoration and management plan perpetually into the future.