A measure just passed to help protect local water quality and prevent flooding. Here’s what’s next

Property owners in the city of Sacramento have approved a measure that will help fund repairs and improvements to the City’s storm water system, which is up to 100 years old.

The measure will generate about $20 million per year to help protect local water quality and prevent flooding.

“This is a win for the city,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris when the measure was certified at the Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “As has been said many times, we haven’t had an increase in 26 years, but our infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded as substantially as it needs to be. This is a good thing for the city…”

As part of the measure, a new fee will be paid by industrial, commercial and residential property owners.

Most single-family homeowner will pay an additional $6 per month. The new fee will go into effect by summer 2022.

Projects to repair and improve storm water facilities, including combined-sewer, drainage, pump station and water quality systems are expected to begin in 2023.

“The new fee will be used to repair and replace aging pumps and pipelines, reduce sewage overflows and protect drinking water quality,” said City Utilities Director Bill Busath, whose department manages the stormwater system. “It is expected to create 1,300 jobs over the next 10 years.”

Approximately 52 percent of property owners approved the measure, which was voted on through a special mail-in ballot election from February to March.

Proposition 218 requires new fees on local stormwater systems be approved by voters and based on the service provided.

“Really thrilled to see that the voters and the city passed [the measure],” said Councilmember Mai Vang.

Sacramento is considered to be among the top six cities in the nation that are most at-risk to flooding, due to its proximity to the Sacramento and American rivers.

“This will be good for many generations to come,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.