Lebanon Storm Water Management - Overview
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The Lebanon Storm Water Management Board was created by city ordinance in 1990 to provide municipal stormwater and drainage facilities. The Board has two sources of funds to pay for these facilities.
(1) Capital improvement bonds issued by the Board are repaid by a Storm Water Management property tax rate imposed on Lebanon property owners.
(2) The Board has also imposed a Storm Water Developed "user fee" that is included on the monthly bills from Lebanon Utilities. This fee is used to fund capital improvements, operations and maintenance, administrative services, field inspections, and regulatory compliance. The fee was effective January 1, 2008, and began at a rate of $3.00 per month for a single family dwelling. This rate will increase by $0.25 each year until the rate reaches $5.00 per month. Each non-residential property is billed according to the amount of impervious area for the parcel of land with a minimum billing of two Equivalent Residential Units (one ERU is equal to 3,000 square feet).
Listed next is data showing the rate of inflation and the total Storm Water Property Taxes and Fees paid by the homeowners at 2625 Countryside Drive from 2007 through 2013.
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
Lebanon Storm Water Management Property Taxes paid by 2625 Countryside Drive
Lebanon Storm Water Developed Fees paid by 2625 Countryside Drive
Total Storm Water Property Taxes and Fees paid by 2625 Countryside Drive
The $89.58 total paid by 2625 Countryside Drive in 2013 will be 103.54% more than the $44.01 paid in 2007. Storm Water Property Taxes and Fees have increased more than eight times the rate of inflation the past 6 years.
The Board initially issued bonds to complete the following projects to address Lebanon flooding issues in accordance with a 1990 plan developed by Bonar and Associates, Inc.:
(1) Prairie Creek and Reynolds Ditch dredging and renovation;
(2) Conyer and Debard tiles replacement - Northwest flooding - Syracuse Dr., Northfield Dr., Douglass Lane., Harney Dr., Camp St., and Essex St.;
(3) Wysong Tile replacement - Northeast flooding - East St., Woodland Dr., Park Dr., North side of High School, and North section of Grant;
(4) Cannon Tile replacement - Southeast Flooding - St. Rd. 32, Indianapolis Ave., Jackson St., Longley Dr., East St., and Beck St.;
(5) Morris Tile replacement - Southwest flooding - White Castle, Main St., St. Rd 32, Ransdell Rd., and Noble St.
A Woolpert Engineers plan was then followed to address storm water issues at the following locations:
(1) Lafayette Ave., Powell St., North St., Washington St., Main St., South St., Pearl St., Superior St., Elm St., Dicks St., Green St., Walnut St., and Jameson St.;
(2) East Green St., East Walnut St., Oak St., Pleasant St., and Ash St.
The Board has also been "looking to the future" with the completion of a study on the north side of Lebanon as well as work presently underway on a study to address the needs of the annexed area south of Lebanon.
On October 22, 2012, the Lebanon City Council approved a $4,790,000 bond issue proposed by the Board. The greatest portion of this bond issue will be used to refund the Board's two remaining 2000 and 2005 bond issues. About $2 million from the approved bond issue will be available for new projects. An additional $2 million bond issue is planned for 2014, along with another $1 million bond issue in 2015. The current property tax rate is expected to generate enough revenue the next twelve years to make the $475,000 to $480,000 annual repayments on these bond issues.
The Board plans to allocate $865,000 in cash reserves together with $4 million from the aforementioned bond issues to complete capital projects that will replace the storm water pipe and catch basins on Meridian and East streets between Washington Street and Essex Street. The Board will also coordinate construction activities with Lebanon Utilities to make any necessary water system improvements, as well as help the city take care of a Federal mandate to make sidewalks more ADA accessible. In addition, the curb and gutter system will be improved. The 2-year Meridian Street project will probably begin in 2014, and the 2-year East Street project will likely get underway in 2016.
The Board indicates that the Meridian Street and East Street capital projects are Lebanon's current highest priority storm water projects because Meridian Street flooded in 2011; there are missing, broken, and undersized pipe sections; only a portion of the pipe system was replaced when there was a 2006 Meridian Street cave-in; and the pipe system is over 100 years old.
The Board ignored an October 15, 2012, request to postpone action on the $4,790,000 bond issue until the three suggested actions listed next have been thoughtfully considered.
(A) Establish and publicize a list of the highest priority storm water capital projects that have been identified by the Board so interested and concerned citizens can decide if the list is properly inclusive.
(B) Seek public input to help develop an objective method to prioritize the identified storm water capital projects using a numerical approach based on factors such as public health and safety, degree of street flooding, construction impacts, watershed impact, water quality, and degree of cost effectiveness. Pages 36-38 of the online document at http://www.ci.decatur.il.us/publicinformation/2009%20Stormwater%20Master%20Plan.pdf outline a numerical approach that can be used to objectively prioritize stormwater projects based on factors such as public health and safety, degree of street flooding, construction impacts, watershed impact, water quality, and degree of cost effectiveness.
(C) To help dispel any perceptions that Board actions are arbitrary and politically motivated, use the objective numerical approach to prioritize the list of highest priority storm water capital projects.
NOT ONE NICKEL of our hard-earned Storm Water Property Tax and Fee dollars should be spent to subsidize developers by paying for new stormwater and drainage facilities within the 3,655 acres that Lebanon annexed along the I-65 corridor. Lebanon’s recent flooding shows how important it is that all Storm Water dollars be used to upgrade existing facilities. Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis – who has appointed Carol Cunningham, Dick Robertson, and Tom Temple to the Storm Water Management Board and may remove them at any time – must abide abide by the May 12, 2008 Annexation Fiscal Plan and have developers pay for any stormwater infrastructure improvements within Lebanon's I-65 Corridor Annexation.
NOTE: The following October 15, 2012, written remonstrance was also ignored by the Board.
To: Board of Directors of the Department of Storm
Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana
From: Aaron Smith, a person owning real or personal property within the storm water district at 2625 Countryside Drive, Lebanon, IN 46052
Re: Written Remonstrance for the declaratory resolution adopted by the Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana, on September 24, 2012, determining and ordering the acquisition, construction, rebuilding, repair, extension and improvement of certain storm water facilities within the City of Lebanon, Indiana, pursuant to maps, plans, specifications, drawings, descriptions and estimates adopted by the Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana
The Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana (the "Board") is hereby requested to reject the declaratory resolution adopted by the Board on September 24, 2012, (the "Declaratory Resolution") determining and ordering the acquisition, construction, rebuilding, repair, extension and improvement of certain storm water facilities within the City of Lebanon, Indiana, (the "Project") pursuant to maps, plans, specifications, drawings, descriptions and estimates adopted by the Board (the "Plans"). The reasons for requesting the rejection of the Declaratory Resolution are listed next.
(1) As defined by Indiana Code 36-4-1-1(a), Lebanon is a "third class" city because its population is less than 35,000.
(2) As provided in Indiana Code 36-4-5-2(a), the mayor is Lebanon’s city executive.
(3) As provided in Indiana Code 36-4-6-2(a), the common "city" council is Lebanon’s legislative body.
(4) Indiana Code 8-1.5-5-4 (c) requires that the "executive of the municipality shall appoint the directors" of the Board, "not more than two (2) of whom may be of the same political party."
(5) Therefore, Indiana law clearly states that Lebanon’s executive – Mayor Huck Lewis – MUST appoint the directors of the Board.
(6) On December 12, 2011, the Lebanon Common "City" Council passed Ordinance No. 2011-26 which includes the three provisions listed next.
"WHEREAS, the Council has jurisdiction regarding the establishment of a Board of Storm Water Management pursuant to I.C. 8-1.5-5-4"
"WHEREAS, The Council has previously established the Board of Storm Water Management ("Board") for the City of Lebanon in Ordinance 90-08, as adopted June 11, 1990"
"WHEREAS, Section 4 of
Ordinance 90-08 sets forth the appointment of directors to serve on the Board,
and the Council desires to amend and modify Ordinance 90-08, as codified in
Section 2-114 of the Lebanon City Code, such that the directors of the Board be
appointed as set forth in I.C. 8-1.5-5-4(c)"
(7) Therefore, the new Lebanon Ordinance No. 2011-26 reinforces by reference the Indiana law requirement that Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis MUST appoint the directors of the Board.
(8) The December 12, 2011, Lebanon Common "City" Council meeting minutes include the two entries listed next (council members attending the meeting were Jeremy Lamar, Richard Robertson, Mike Kincaid, Keith Campbell, Steve Large, and John Copeland).
"STORM WATER BOARD APPOINTMENT – Motion by Councilmember Large to appoint Dick Robertson to the Storm Water Board, 2nd by Councilmember Kincaid. Motion carries by a unanimous vote of five (5) ayes and zero (0) nays. Councilmember Robertson abstains from voting. (This appointment was made after the adoption of Ordinance 11-26)"
"SUSPENSION OF RULES FOR
ORDINANCE 11-26 – Motion by Councilmember Large to suspend the rules and
allow for 2nd reading immediately, 2nd by Council President Lamar. Motion
carries by unanimous roll call vote.
(9) The Lebanon Common "City" Council appointed Dick Robertson to the Board on December 12, 2011.
(10) However, the Common "City" Council is not empowered to make this appointment because it is the city’s legislative body and NOT the city executive.
(11) Therefore, the December 12, 2011, appointment of Dick Robertson to the Board is not in accordance with state law, and all actions taken by the Board after December 12, 2011, where Dick Robertson was the deciding vote should be declared null and void to the extent possible.
(12) On September 24,2012, Board Directors Dick Robertson and Carol Cunningham voted to approve the Declaratory Resolution (Tom Temple was absent).
(13) The Declaratory Resolution approval should not be "actionable" because Dick Robertson was not properly appointed to the Board.
(14) The board acted arbitrarily and capriciously in adopting the Declaratory Resolution on September 24, 2012.
The Board is hereby requested to reject the Declaratory Resolution because Dick Robertson’s arbitrary appointment to the Board on December 12, 2011, was not in accordance with state law, and Dick Robertson was ineligible to capriciously cast the deciding vote to approve the Declaratory Resolution on September 24, 2012.
It should be noted that if the Board fails to reject the Declaratory Resolution, this Written Remonstrance allows an appeal to a circuit or superior court of Boone County within thirty (30) days after the final action of the Board.
Note: This written remonstrance was filed with the Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana, at the time fixed for the October 15, 2012, hearing for the declaratory resolution adopted by the Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana, on September 24, 2012, determining and ordering the acquisition, construction, rebuilding, repair, extension and improvement of certain storm water facilities within the City of Lebanon, Indiana, pursuant to maps, plans, specifications, drawings, descriptions and estimates adopted by the Board of Directors of the Department of Storm Water Management of the City of Lebanon, Indiana.
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This page was last updated on 06/25/16 .