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City of McAllen proposes drainage utility fee

The city of McAllen is considering implementing a drainage utility fee after a biennial service survey showed citizens’ biggest concerns were drainage and traffic.

The city of McAllen is considering implementing a drainage utility fee after a biennial service survey showed citizens’ biggest concerns were drainage and traffic.

McAllen city manager Roy Rodriguez says the city of McAllen is taking steps in protecting people’s property by proposing the multi-prong approach to improving the local drainage system.

“The primary reason to do the utility fee is so that the bond issue that we're going to propose next year is smaller,” Rodriguez said. “It doesn't impact the tax payer immediately as a tax and the city commissioner agreed that we needed to try to do both. Most residents in McAllen are going to pay about $1 a month, that's the impact to a resident.”

The funds collected by the fee will be going strictly toward the operation, maintenance and construction of drainage infrastructure.

Sara Hinojosa, who has lived in McAllen for almost 45 years, said she is willing to pay the fee.

"I would, I would pay for it, but again like I said, it would have to be presented and then I could base my decision on that,” Hinojosa said.

While residents like Emilio Santos believes the city should look for an alternative plan.

"Well, there are funds to resolve this because they have a lot of employees,” said Santos. They have a lot of things they need to save in one area and maybe use this and not go with the tax payers too."

The city has a significant list of drainage projects and plans to use the bond issue toward prime areas that are greatly affected.

Residents can share their questions or concerns about the implementation of the drainage fee at two public meetings that the city of McAllen will host.

The first meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. at Lark Community Center and the second meeting will be on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. at Palm View Community Center.

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