GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- - An official ruling has denied an injunction filed against the Grand Valley Drainage District, asking to stop the collection of a new storm water management fee.
Diane Schwenke with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, one of the entities along with Mesa County behind the lawsuit, said the fee puts an undue burden on businesses, some businesses seeing bills range from $5,000 to $10,000.
"To see their business costs go up that much every year is a disincentive for them to do business here," Schwenke said. "In some cases I've had people say that's a part time employee for me."
Tim Ryan with the Drainage District said the fee was necessary to fix deficiencies with the drainage system.
"We do understand the burden placed on businesses, but also the vast impervious surface that they deal with," he said. "What we're concerned about is the pollutants, the storm water pollutants coming off of those driveways and those parking lots."
While Schwenke said she understands storm water is an issue in the valley, she said the method the Drainage District used was flawed.
"[They] already collect property taxes from everyone in the district in order to build and maintain waterways and take out the storm water," she said. "If you don't have sufficient property taxes to do your mission you should ask for additional property taxes."
Ryan said the Drainage District has a $2 million capital improvement plan to address current deficiencies within the system, as well as to enhance the conveyance system to address future developments.
As the injunction was denied, the Drainage District will send out a second billing that residents and businesses must pay before August 31 to avoid late fees.