Superior’s Public Works Committee is recommending a change to the city’s Stormwater Flood Control Program that would allow renters to benefit from a program that has helped homeowners stop basement flooding.
The program helps owners of single-family homes identify the sources of basement flooding and provides solutions to prevent future basement flooding. The program, funded by sewage fees, was made permanent in 2007 after a pilot project demonstrated benefits to both homeowner and the city. The caveat is single-family homes have to be owner-occupied to qualify for the program.
Under the change approved Wednesday, Nov. 20, any single-family home with a history of flooding would qualify for the program regardless of who occupies it.
“The city’s system doesn’t know where that water comes from, doesn’t know who owns or lives in that home, and it impacts our system the same way,” said Steve Roberts, director of the Environmental Services Division, which oversees the program.
The program was created with a goal of removing clear water, which otherwise wouldn’t require treatment from the city’s sanitary sewers.
Treating clear water is expensive, said Councilor Jenny Van Sickle, who proposed the change after a landlord with property in her district explained she didn’t qualify for the program because she didn’t live in the house.
Councilor Keith Kern, chairman of the committee, said he’s spoken to someone who went through the program that said it was a seamless process and appreciated what the program offered.
The Council considers the recommendation at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in Room 201 of the Government Center.
“This is good for the people that live in the houses, not just the landlords,” Mayor Jim Paine said.
“I’ve been in rental houses that have had backups,” Kern said. “My stuff has been down their personally, and the landlord was a good landlord. It just happened to be a massive rainfall that landed, and I lost a lot of stuff.”