Colorado Springs city officials unleashed a torrent of backlash when they created the Stormwater Enterprise.
Even though the fees were set to zero last year, the enterprise is still a source of resentment.
For homebuyer David Parris, the enterprise is a source of frustration.
“I just received a letter from the Stormwater Enterprise stating that I owe them about $55. This fee would have been from 2009 or earlier,” Parris wrote in an email to The Gazette.
“The problem is that I purchased this house in June of 2010, six months after City Council abolished this fee. They did not place a lien on the house for this money or else it would have showed up and been settled during the closing process,” he wrote.
The subject line of Parris’ email was: “Revenge of the Stormwater Fees?”
Parris agreed to share his email with Gazette readers and City Council members.
“While the fee they say I must pay really is not that big, I am more concerned that a lot of other new homeowners are being treated the same way,” he wrote.
I have tried to contact them about this but only get a prerecorded message that basically says pay up or we will assess interest and penalties. I have left the two phone messages and not been called back. I have even emailed them and they have not replied to those either. This letter was dated on the 19th and it states I must pay this within ten days or else, and I received their letter on the 21st.
I imagine that there are a fair number of new home owners who have received their own letter from the city. So I am sure this issue is bigger than my complaint. I was wondering if you would be the right person at the paper to look into this question or should I write to someone else?
I was not against the Stormwater Enterprise, but I really don’t think what they are doing is legitimate. I did not incur those fees, nor was I informed of them when we purchased the property (and it would be silly to expect a home buyer to intuit what unpaid fees the previous owner incurred). For the city to expect me to pay a fee that is over two years old because they could not collect from the previous owner is outrageous. They are basically saying I have to track that person down and get the money because they couldn’t or just shut up and pay them for him.
Any help, suggestions, or light you could shed on this issue would be greatly appreciated.