On Monday, August 17, Chamber President David Ross distributed a letter to the Duluth Public Utilities Commission and the Duluth City Council regarding the proposed plan for increasing stormwater utility rates.
Recognizing the existing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, The Chamber’s proposal advocated for a one-year delay on the approaching stormwater utility increase, pushing the rate increase date from January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022. Such a delay would allow the business community additional time to recover from financial hardship before the proposed rate increases.
According to the plan, an 11.25% annual stormwater fee increase over a period of six years would impact single-family homes rates increase from $6.75 monthly to $12.80. Businesses, however, are charged based on surface area of property. According to the Duluth News Tribune, “Businesses will see a commensurate rate increase of about 89% over the same six-year period if they make no changes in their stormwater management practices.”
As a result of the Chamber’s request, the Duluth Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously earlier this week in favor to delay the implementation of a stormwater utilities increase. A compromise was reached on the amount of time for the delay – six months – citing the importance of the rate increase for stormwater utilities, and while still recognizing the financial burden of COVID-19. The new rate will begin July 1, 2021.
We encourage you to read more about the Chamber’s advocacy on this topic at the following links:
Letter to DPUC and City Council 8/17/20
Duluth News Tribune 8/17/20
Duluth News Tribune 8/18/20
President & CEO
Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce