City / county storm brewing over storm water

Apr 24, 2015

Cincinnati worker inspecting storm water grate in the city.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials are always talking about ways to share services.  But it appears the city may be ready to "unshare" one service.  

Cincinnati Council is being asked to approve an ordinance dropping the city's membership in the Hamilton County Storm Water District. 

City officials say it paid $296,100 in 2003 to participate.  Now that has increased to $588,800.  The city says it has requested an accounting from the storm water district about the fees, but has not gotten a response.  

Cincinnati officials say they can handle storm water management internally.  

The city must give a one-year notice that it is withdrawing.  If approved, the change would take effect in May 2016.  

A Hamilton County official says if the city withdraws, it would obviously reduce the district's income, but it could also lower some expenses.  

A number of governments in Hamilton County formed the district in 2003.  It is aimed at improving water quality in the county's creeks, streams, rivers and lakes.