GREEN BAY - Green Bay residents will pay more on their water bills next year after the city opted to fund street tree maintenance through its stormwater utility.
Stormwater costs will jump nearly $26 for the average homeowner as part of the 2020 budget approved earlier this month. The utility's rate, finalized by the City Council last week, is set at $118.05 annually — up from $92.12 this year.
Roughly half of the increase stems from the city's decision to pay for nearly $1.2 million in forestry services through the stormwater utility instead of the general fund. Proponents contend it's a practical way to reduce pressure on the tax levy, noting the role of street trees in diverting stormwater away from sewers.
The charge will appear on residents' quarterly water bills but is separate from water and sewer costs billed by the water utility.
Costs for park tree maintenance will still be funded through property taxes as part of the Parks Department.