In response to an inquiry from a Bethlehem homeowner, this is how the City's "Stormwater Engineer," Meara C Hayden, justifies this $60 annual fee.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Bethlehem Defends Stormwater Fee Transparency
The City of Bethlehem has been looking into adopting a stormwater fee ordinance for the past five years, similar to ordinances previously passed in Allentown and Easton and others around the state and country. Our fee is considerably lower than both those neighboring cities. Other local municipalities are currently working on stormwater fees as well. While considering and adopting this fee, we have reached out via newspapers and advertised online virtual public meetings . We met with many of the largest rate payers on October 20, 21, 22 and November 2 and 13 in 2020. We had an online Public Meeting on November 17, 2020. This meeting was advertised on the City website, Lehigh Valley Live, the Express Times and a general Press Release was issued. The Fee was discussed at City Council Budget Hearings in 2019 and 2020, both of which were advertised ahead of the meetings. An online public presentation (see attached) was given at City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on December 1, 2020 and public comment was also invited at the December 1st and 15th, 2020 City Council meetings which both advertised the agenda in a Press Release, in the Express Times, and on the City’s website. A number of articles were in the local media over the last two years. These include Lehigh Valley Live on 11/08/19, 12/18/19, and 12/16/20, the Morning Call on 11/18/19, 12/17/19, and 12/16/20 and on WFMZ on 12/02/20.
We are continuing our stormwater public educational program, and we are holding webinars on April 1st and April 6th, which will be recorded and posted online afterwards. This will help to explain why the fee was implemented and what the funding will be used to address. You can find the link to sign up for that at the bottom of the page here:
Also on that page is a link to an FAQ document that fully answers the common questions we get about the stormwater fee.
All single family home owners are billed a flat $60/year fee. In your situation, even though you share a water meter with multiple other homes, you are still billed for the stormwater fee as a residential property. Let me know if you have any questions our FAQ document can’t a