House approves bill for New London stormwater authority

Hartford — The House of Representatives late Saturday passed a bill by a 106-37 vote that would allow New London to create a stormwater authority.

The Senate approved the bill last month, and it now moves on to the governor for his signature.

“Passage of this bill is a positive step and goes a long way in providing New London with the necessary legal authority and management tools to move forward with establishment of a Stormwater Utility to address stormwater issues, including flooding, aging and inadequate stormwater infrastructure, operational costs,” said state Rep. Elissa Wright, D-Groton, a proponent of the bill.

The stormwater authority would be similar to a water utility authority and would be able to charge properties, even those that are tax-exempt, based on how much of the property is impermeable surface. The money collected would be applied to the cost of managing stormwater or rainstorm runoff.

A large percentage of New London property is not subject to property tax, including hospital, colleges and other nonprofits.

Last month, state Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, said leaders of the City of New London had been asking for this for a long time.

How exactly the stormwater authority would be set up and what rate would be charged is yet to be determined. But the idea would be to create a separate utility, just as the Water & Water Pollution Control Authority is separate from city government.

j.somers@theday.com

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