Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Storm Water Fees = Pretty Flower Pots?

Dallas Texas has a very comprehensive and restrictive Storm Water Management program. I have been told that it is one of the most restrictive in the country, I know that it is much more restrictive than other areas where I have worked. Companies involved in manufacturing are routinely inspected for potential storm water issues. Storm water related regulations vary depending upon what it is the company happens to be manufacturing. The company I work for "enjoys" fairly in depth inspections and we have invested several tens of thousands of dollars over the past few years to ensure complience.

Here is the mission statement of the Dallas Storm Water management program:

To educate the public, school children, and businesses (construction and other industries) on storm water pollution prevention related issues and permitting requirements respective to protecting our creeks, lakes, and rivers to improve our lifestyle, natural environment, and water resource use. In addition, the Program includes enforcement inspections to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local storm water regulations as well as water sampling to detect and correct water pollution in Dallas’ lakes and creeks and the Trinity River.
I wonder how this expenditure follows that mission statement?

From the Dallas Morning News:

By Dave Levinthal

Maria Gaona's wishes for her west Oak Cliff neighborhood are these: less nuisance crime, fewer robberies and more places for children to safely play.

Cindy Leon, 3, paints a flower pot during Dallas' Pride in your Neighborhood on Saturday at Arcadia Recreation Center in Dallas. Cindy and other residents of seven Dallas neighborhoods are working to improve their communities by making them better to look at and live in.
View larger More photos Photo store "But we need more organization and education in the community to get this done," Ms. Gaona said.

The newly initiated Pride in Your Neighborhood program, a joint venture of Dallas City Hall's Sanitation Services department and the nonprofit Keep Dallas Beautiful, is intended to fill that void.

Funding the program with $453,000 in city storm water fees, organizers aim to empower the residents of seven struggling Dallas neighborhoods – Arcadia Park, Arlington Park, Beverly Hills, Cedar Oaks, Dixon Circle, Fordham Road and Singing Hills – with tools to combat crime and blight.
Umm... If the storm water program has all this excess cash laying around, maybe the fees are to high. Maybe if Dallas did not make it such a pain in the rear for industry to do business there, more jobs and investment dollars would be available in neighborhoods like these. I have a stack of books at least six feet tall that just cover code complience, city, and state regulations. Fun stuff.

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