After last week’s open house about stormwater utility fees, some Boardman residents are upset about the new costs they now have to pay.
There was a sense of mutual frustration Monday night at a Boardman Township trustees meeting. Residents are upset that the water district is charging more money. Trustees said they don’t have any control over it and those who do said there weren’t many options to begin with.
“How can they charge a fee without us having a word about it?” Paul Hersh wanted to know.
That question was a major point of discussion. People living in Boardman wanted to know why they’ll have to pay more to deal with wastewater and flooding problems.
Water district representative Jason Loree said they had to do it because the state required it.
“This is an example of federal and state giving the township or the community, saying, ‘You’re responsible for this and by the way, we’re not funding you.'”
Because of the requirement, Boardman joined with Austintown and Canfield to create the ABC Water District to deal with flooding and wastewater issues. The district has the authority to do things the individual communities can’t, like apply for federal funding or help residents with flooding.
“There have been issues where we want to help a resident but we can’t because the township is not allowed to go onto private property for those flooding issues. The water district can do that,” Trustee Larry Moliterno said.
Loree said the original hope was that the district could make up all of Mahoning County. He hopes that could still happen one day.
“At the countywide level, that’s a more effective way to look at the entire water district, globally,” he said.
Others at the meeting suggested just charging businesses. Loree said they can’t legally discriminate between businesses and homeowners.
The ABC Water District will be holding an open house for more information about the cost and what’s being done with the stormwater systems on March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Boardman Library, followed by a regular meeting at 5 p.m.