Yesterday by a vote of 6-1 OSAB recommended to City Council that the 10% of the stormwater fee for open space/stormwater projects be diverted to immediate flood control projects. Two points: the key words in the recommendation (and in the Mayor's proposal) are "up to $3.2 million". That is the amount that, under the current stormwater fee, will be collected over the next two years for open space. In our conversations with the Mayor and again at yesterday's OSAB meeting, I wanted to make it clear that we were only talking about the $3.2 million and not more revenue expected because the stormwater fee is most certainly going to be raised. The Mayor was on hand to give his presentation (a first as far as I know for a Mayor to come to the Board) and he personally stated that his request was for what will be collected in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 under the current rate. The rest he assured us goes into the open space coffers.
The second point is this: much of what OSAB has sought to preserve as natural open space with stormwater function has now closed or soon will close. There is money on hand. Making this so is largely the result of EPWU attorney Lupe Cuellar's efforts for which she is to be showered with kudos. Here is her report from yesterday:
Click on the icon with the 4 arrows at bottom right to enlarge and scroll.