For the first time, the city of Hagerstown will be moving forward with a storm water utility fee study.
In 2018, Washington County will receive a permit from the Maryland Department of Environment that requires the city to accelerate how they treat storm water runoff and clean the water before it can enter the creeks and streams around the community.
“I definitely think it would be good for the environment, good for the wildlife,” said Marie Siefker, Hagerstown resident.
The city is just getting to this now because the Maryland Department of Environment is saying these issues have to be addressed moving forward.
“Additional street sweeping, tree planting, lot of different tactics to be used to clean up water quality,” said Rodney Tissue, City Engineer.
Officials say other counties in Maryland already have this including Baltimore as well as Montgomery County. The storm water utility fee study determines what is required and the costs.
“Some of the things right now that the taxpayers are paying through taxes could be funded by this program,” said Tissue.
Tissue says he doesn’t see this implemented until after the year 2020. Right now, he says they plan to set up a citizens advisory community to become a part of this discussion. He says 20 percent has to be treated in the next period of time. Some residents say this call to action a step in the right direction.
“I think it’s a good idea, something we should’ve done a long time ago,” said Gloria Worges, Hagerstown resident.