Based on votes taken at Tuesday’s city council meeting, Midlanders are likely to see a new fee added to their monthly utility bill as soon as October.

With two public readings needed for final approval, Midland city council members took the first step in creating a Municipal Drainage Utility that would levy a residential and commercial stormwater fee.

This new fee may be just one of the additional revenue streams the city is considering. Council members also approved a resolution implementing a study on the effects of various fees such as road impact, water, and wastewater. The study will be conducted by Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper and is estimated to cost no more than $210,000.

City officials say the revenue from the stormwater fees, which is estimated to be about $2.5 million annually, would be used for various drainage projects identified by the engineering department. Those projects are estimated to cost $20 million and be addressed within a 10-year timeframe.

According to the city manager’s office, most of the projects and associated costs were originally identified in a 1996 Midland stormwater study, where the idea of implementing a fee was first brought up. The numbers recently proposed to city council were amended to reflect current market rates.

The fee structure proposed by city staff includes three tiers for homeowners that range from $1.20 to $3.40 a month and six tiers for business owners that range from $5.80 to $220 a month. And while a homeowner’s tier is based on the square footage of their roofline, a business owner’s tier is based on the square footage of impervious surface on the property (such as parking lots, sidewalks, and rooflines.)

City council is set to vote April 10 on the second and final reading to establish the new utility.

For questions or comments regarding the proposed fee, please contact your city council member by visiting

Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau of Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.