McAllen proposes “Drainage Utility Fee” to address drainage concerns

McAllen – The City of McAllen is proposing a creation of a “Drainage Utility Fee” ordinance in order to fund drainage related improvements.  The city held a public informational to address citizens questions and concerns on Monday, December 18 and will hold an other informational tonight at Palmview Community Center.

Citizens have acknowledged the need for drainage improvements, but question why households are expected to foot the bill, considering alternative funding methods may already be available. How much each household is expected to chip in hasn’t entirely been laid out, however; McAllen City Engineer, Yvette Barrera, would like to see the fee determined by a “Equivalent Residential Unit. (ERU)”

The ERU would be based on an average cover for a family household, which McAllen would be 2,700 square feet.  Barrera anticipates this would cost the average household $1 a month, with commercial properties expected to be $75 a month.

Despite the relatively small monthly fee, some citizens have wondered why alternate funding wasn’t sought before knocking on the tax payers door.

According to Data USA, McAllen has approximately 42,225 households.  If each of these households kick in $1, it would produce the equivalent of an executive assistants salary.  If combined with commercial contributions, it’s reasonable to expect total funding to be around $150,000 to $200,000.

While McAllen seeks taxpayers assistance to fund basic city concerns, it continues to spend taxpayers money frivolously.

McAllen’s Mexico-centric marketing campaign “Amigo’s Always” allocates about $300,000 in effort to get back lost sales revenue from Mexican Nationals.  Sales tax revenue for brick-and-mortar retail have declined sharply throughout the country as consumers have opted for online shopping.

In 2016, McAllen spent $750,000 for their annual Holiday Parade, with much of the funds going toward law enforcement over time, celebrities, and Christmas themed floats.  Budget for 2017’s parade have yet to be made public.

Public hearing and decision on the drainage utility fee will be on January 8th at the McAllen City Commission meeting at 5 PM.

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