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Jackson voters may be asked to reconsider controversial storm water fee

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Jackson residents may decide in August if they are willing to pay a special tax to clean up their city streets.

Last year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the city of Jackson’s storm water fee was actually an illegal tax. The fee generated about a million dollars a year for street cleaning and leaf pickup programs which without funding the city cancelled last year.

Councilman Derek Dobies says that meant homeowners couldn’t just sweep their leaves into the street they had to dispose of the leaves themselves.

“You know throw those bags in your car and haul them away to some sort of location was a huge inconvenience to a lot of people,” says Dobies.

Dobies believes, after hauling their own leaves and driving streets still covered with uncollected yard waste, Jackson voters will approve a new storm water fee in August.

Dobies says, if voters approve the new storm water fee in August, the city can start cleaning Jackson’s streets again in the fall. If voters say ‘no’, Dobies says Jackson officials will have to come up with a different plan. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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