City stormwater fees jolt Port officials

A new city of Sunnyside stormwater assessment fee that went into effect this year will cost the Port of Sunnyside $75,000 this year, commissioners were told last night, Monday.

Port Director Amber Hansen told commissioners in a memo that she's been researching city and county ordinances regarding the matter.

"The city used parcel size and zoning only to determine the assessment, while the county used the same criteria as well as amount of impervious surface," Hansen said. "It seems there may be an error in the methodology the city used in calculating the assessments and the city council instructed the staff to research it and report back at the March 9 meeting (of council) with a solution."

Hansen told commissioners she's unsure if the city will make changes if it's determined they errored in calculating the amount in time for the first payment of taxes in April.

"I would like us to consider whether we want to pay the first half by the April 30th deadline or wait until October for the full amount with the anticipation that if changes are needed they will have happened by that time."

Hansen said the county treasurer will not accept a partial payment, so the port cannot just pay other taxes or assessments and not pay the stormwater portion. "That will not work," she said.

Port officials will hold off on making a decision until the city council meets on March 9.


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