HANNIBAL | A lack of funds is preventing the Hannibal Board of Public Works from accomplishing some of its many stormwater objectives. As to whether that is an acceptable excuse in the opinion of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources remains to be seen.
It has been over three months since the HBPW submitted a letter to the MoDNR that outlined the cash plight of the utility's storm-water department.
According to Mathew Munzlinger, interim general manager of the HBPW, the state was advised that the HBPW Board has decided to place a storm-water funding issue on the November 2020 ballot. It also was told how the lack of a funding source has affected the HBPW's schedule of “best management practices” that is contained in the city's stormwater management plan. That plan was submitted to the state in May 2018 and was still under review as of mid January of this year.
“We are basically laying it out for them about how the lack of funding is hampering what we are able to do and asking them for feedback on how we navigate the process moving forward,” Munzlinger said during the December meeting of the HBPW Board. Asked if the HBPW's letter might gain it some good will from the state, Munzlinger said it could. “They (MoDNR) can be (understanding) if you reach out to them on the front end of things,” he said in December. A proposition intended to create a funding source for Hannibal's storm-water utility failed by 12 votes in April 2019. After initially indicating that it wanted to put the matter back before voters in April 2020, the HBPW Board had a change of heart last November and decided to wait until November of this year to put the issue to a vote again.
According to a HBPW Board memo, even if the proposition is approved in November the collection of fees would not begin until the fall of 2021.
As of this week the storm-water fund had just $276,902.54 remaining of the $1 million it had borrowed from the HBPW's electric fund. Those funds are to be used to tackle a prioritized list of emergency storm-water repairs.
“While we await their (MoDNR) response we continue working on goals that can be accomplished in the interim,” Munzlinger said.