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With five days of rain ahead of us, it's apropos to consider the inevitable runoff and flooding we will experience. 

Stormwater management is a material issue for local businesses, especially in Carrboro.  Look no further than the PTA Thrift Shop that had to invest $1 million to better handle all the runoff that rips right through the middle of their grounds. 

As the Carrboro Board of Aldermen discuss the proposed stormwater utility rate structure, the Carrboro Business Alliance - an association of 80 Carrboro-based enterprises that share a vision for a strong, resilient Carrboro – is advocating for three simple things:  

1) Show me the money.  

Let's see a clear budget with a fixed and firm (non-transferrable) percentage dedicated for investments in infrastructure improvement. The business community wants to make sure the money raised through this fee on residents and business owners helps address the root of the problem - improve infrastructure and ensure our community is better prepared to manage stormwater.

2) Give credit where credit is due.  

Several business owners (and residents) have made substantial investments in stormwater management on their property, helping the environment and our community. Let's give credit where credit is due. Incorporate a simple rebate, waiver, or credit to those progressive souls who are helping us get ahead of the game.

3) Don't forget our small businesses.

Local, small businesses could be disproportionately impacted by this proposed rate structure. Taxes and fees are paid by tenants on retail rent, meaning several small businesses could face significant increase in their central area maintenance (CAM) charges. Let's consider capping the fee structure to alleviate disproportionate impact. 

Bottom line: The Carrboro Business Alliance is concerned about stormwater. It is a problem in need of investment. We appreciate the town's leadership here. Now let's get the investments flowing in the right way so we are set-up for success. 
*Photo credit to Terri Turner. 
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