Parks and People Foundation: Watershed 263 Council Meeting
December 10, 2014
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The costs to implement the strategies recommended in the Healthy Harbor Plan are large. The capital costs to both the City and the County will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars; maintenance costs are also very high. New strategies will be needed to raise the money needed to meet the goals of the Healthy Harbor plan.
Much can be learned from other cities that have successfully addressed very similar issues. New York City and Philadelphia offer striking examples. Both cities have found that the added benefits of green infrastructure – energy savings, recreation, increased property values, air quality, lowered maintenance costs and more – make it a preferred strategy for dealing with stormwater.
The plan offers additional recommendations for paying for clean water, including developing a stormwater utility; adopting a “triple bottom line” accounting approach (as Philadelphia has done); developing a solid waste enterprise fund and supporting a bag tax; and establishing a Baltimore Water Fund. Examples are offered to illustrate all these options and how they have worked in other urban metropolises. The objective is to find new revenue streams which will not unduly burden the citizens of Baltimore and will equitably distribute the costs.