Duplex owners to receive refund

City fixes ‘drafting error’ that led to higher storm water fee
COVINGTON, Ky. – A two-word change in a City ordinance first passed in February will send most owners of duplexes in Covington a refund of $45.40 on their storm water bill.
That’s the bottom-line impact of a vote the Covington Board of Commissioners recently took to fix what amounted to a drafting error in that original ordinance.
Under the “fix,” residential duplexes will be treated like single-family residential properties, consistent with how those properties were billed previously by Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky, City Attorney Michael Bartlett told the Commission.
Owners of those properties had been accidentally charged for both of their two units, Bartlett said.
“For those of you looking for the change, it’s at the top of page 4, where the word ‘two’ is replaced with ‘a,’ ” Mayor Joe Meyer said during Bartlett’s presentation.
At last count, refunds would be due the owners of 521 duplexes in the City who had paid the higher fees, said Finance Director Muhammed Owusu.
That’s the simple explanation. If you want to learn more, see HERE and HERE.
In sum, the City took over the “water quality” aspect of storm water management starting March 1 of this year. To save mailing costs and aggravation for residents, it decided to charge them annually instead of monthly and to reduce the fee by 10 percent, amounting to $54.48 a year for each single-family house. Because the bill sent out April 1 was for only 10 months in 2021, it was pro-rated to $45.40.
(Commercial accounts are billed quarterly and at a higher rate, depending upon the size of their roofs and impervious pavement, just like under SD1.)
The City intended to mimic SD1’s treatment of duplexes as single-family residences but made a mistake in drafting the fee ordinance, Bartlett said. That is now fixed.
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