During the upcoming election Columbia residents will vote on proposition two, which proposes an update on storm drain systems around the City of Columbia.
The current drains, which have been in place for over 40 years have rusted and corroded over time causing the pipes to collapse and cause damage in many areas.
According to Columbia public works engineer Erin Keys the new pipes made of different materials would be more durable.
“Typically we use what is called HDPE pipe, which is high density polyethylene pipe or we’ll use concrete pipe, or there are situations where we’ll use metal pipe,” Keys said.
An increase in the utility rate for residential and commercial land owners would pay for the updated storm drains. Currently revenue from the utility rate is around $1 million per year, but if the proposition passes it will increase the revenue to about $3.4 million per year according to Keys.
If passed the proposition would increase residential land owner’s monthly rate 25 percent per year from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2020 to pay for the updated storm drains.
Columbia public works engineering manager David Sorrell believes the update is necessary to prevent future problems with streets and buildings.
“If the storm drains aren’t there and not working you’re going to have streets that will become impassible, if a pipe was failed and collapsed you could actually back water up and maybe flood a building.”
The upcoming election is scheduled for April 7.