Shawnee considers raising property taxes to address stormwater infrastructure problems

The City of Shawnee is looking at significant challenges in repairing its stormwater drainage system and is considering the first possible property tax increases since 2006.

On Tuesday, Public Works Director Doug Whitacre presented the City Council with three options for the city to consider in a new 20-year strategic plan. Each alternative involves a property tax increase to address the problems of the aging infrastructure of the city’s 178 miles of stormwater pipes.

…in 2016 alone, the city is already facing $1.2 million in emergency repairs to failed pipes causing collapsing roadways. Whitacre said the city’s current plan is not meeting the demand for repairs and the frequent emergency fixes are costing the city tremendously.

“We need a sustainable plan for the city’s stormwater system,” Whitacre said.

In establishing the 20-year plan, the city planning and public works departments gathered data on the city’s pipes and rated 23 percent of the pipes across the city.

(Read more: Shawnee Dispatch stories)

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