Lower Paxton to assess new environmental fee

By Bill Bostic
Gazette editor & independent journalist

The impact of federal clean water regulations is about to take a chunk out of every property owner’s wallet in Lower Paxton Township – and there’s nothing local officials can do stop this environmental freight train.

The Lower Paxton township supervisors have retained a financial consultant to sort through options for addressing stormwater runoff, and Tuesday they approved spending $65,000 for the consultant to help create a stormwater utility fee to fund a remediation program.

It looks like property owners will have to cough up between $128 and $192 a year after the fee is enacted.

The township’s consultant has agreed to conduct public information meetings to explain the proposed environmental fee and to field feedback from citizens.

The money will be used to reduce the amount of runoff material that drains into the Paxton Creek and eventually the Susquehanna River. If this environmental program works, stream water will be cleaner which in turn will help to make the waters in the Chesapeake Bay healthier.

CLICK HERE for a story by independent journalist Bill Bostic about Tuesday’s vote and HERE if you want to dig into the nitty-gritty details of this issue.

Managing stormwater runoff and the potential high costs associated with the environmental initiative have been lurking around for years. Digging through the archives of Linglestown Gazette produced a link to an article published in 2011 by The Patriot-News.

Lower Paxton isn’t the only municipality dealing with this environmental headache. Many other communities in the Susquehanna River watershed are impacted too, and some of them have already established a stormwater utility fee or raised property taxes.

CLICK HERE for a PennLive article published a year ago that looks at how nearby communities are confronting this situation.



  • Rich Krampe says:

    Looking forward to hearing what percentage of the impact fee businesses will be paying. The amount of parking lot space Paxton Towne Center (for example) creates for runoff is thousands of times larger than many homeowners along older parts of Locust Lane (for example). Remember the impact of runoff from PTC in 2004, when rainwater wiped out the culvert on Devonshire Heights Road? I’m all for paying our share, but will need convinced that homeowners aren’t being gouged because of ambitious developers (or politicians).