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Stone Harbor Not Selected for Stormwater Utility Grant

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By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – In November 2022, Stone Harbor requested funding from the state in order to establish a stormwater utility in the borough.

At the Stone Harbor Council meeting, Aug. 1, Administrator Manny Parada told the governing body that the borough was not selected for the grant.

“There were 31 municipalities that applied; eight were selected and Stone Harbor was not one of the eight,” Parada said.

In 2019, New Jersey passed legislation that allows municipalities and counties to establish stormwater utilities. These utilities then serve as independent and dedicated funding sources for stormwater management operations. Opponents of the legislation termed the state action a “rain tax.”

As Parada explained back in November, a stormwater utility would provide a funding source for a number of flood mitigation efforts. The funding comes from a fee structure rather than a property tax. The fees are set based on the amount of runoff from a class of properties rather than being based on property value.

The state funding, which the borough sought in November, would have supported the development of a feasibility study. The study would provide a basis from which the borough could decide whether it wished to move forward with a stormwater utility. Now, as Parada explained, the council must decide if it wishes to investigate the potential benefits of a stormwater utility at the borough’s expense.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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