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Johnson City commissioners to address citywide stormwater management program

January 17th, 2007 11:09 pm by COREY SHOUN

JOHNSON CITY - Due to an agenda backlog created by several months of deferrals and lengthy meetings, the Johnson City Commission is once again set to decide the fate of a citywide stormwater management program.

A split commission approved the measure creating a fee structure for the program in December on second reading. Tonight the panel will consider the same ordinance on third reading as well as a resolution that would establish a series of graduated rates over a three-year period.

The fee program will fund new and expanded methods of dealing with stormwater while also providing funds for various projects relating to floods.

A formula will be used to determine how many units each user - including residential and non-residential users - will pay. The value of each unit would be $1.50 per month, effective June 1 of this year, then would increase to $2.25 per month effective June 1, 2008, and raise to $3 per month on June 1, 2009.

Public Works Director Phil Pindzola showed the commission a model of the program based on a unit with a value of $3, which would bring in about $2 million per year dedicated solely for use under the program. The "first $1.50" of the fee would fund increased maintenance, wet weather conveyance flood prevention, enhanced stormwater quality and planning/design/mapping services for Brush Creek, King Creek, Cobb Creek and Sinking Creek, and sinkhole remediation, said Pindzola.

The "second $1.50" of the fee would fund mostly larger projects such as increased bridge replacement and capital projects such as purchase of residential properties in floodways, purchase of property for regional stormwater detention, construction of regional detention facilities, and small storm flood prevention.

In other business, the commission is slated to address a rezoning item that concerns a new development featuring a Walgreens pharmacy and a bank on North Roan Street in the Boones Creek area. M&M Development Co. has been working to purchase property in the area to facilitate its development and recently received approval for rezoning from the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission.

The development would basically be an extension of the B-1 (business zone) that currently exists at the corner of North Roan and Carroll Creek Road.

The proposal shows a 14,000-square-foot freestanding pharmacy and a 6,000-square-foot freestanding bank, said Jim Gerrard of M&M. Nielson said the B-1 designation would provide "a good transition" for the area as opposed to more liberal zoning designations that would allow more types of uses.

Some neighborhood residents are concerned that continued commercial development will only serve to increase the already heavy flow of traffic through the area on a daily basis.

Also on tap are two ordinances that have been hotly debated among residents of the targeted areas. Third reading and public hearing will be held for both a rezoning concerning property on Knob Creek Road and an annexation along the Interstate 26 corridor in Carter County.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the commission chambers at City Hall (Municipal and Safety Building), 601 E. Main St.

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