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      Amarilloans could fund flooding fixes

      The City of Amarillo has had a tough time over the years with some tricky flooding in parts of town, and it says it doesn't always have the funds to fix those problem areas.

      The solution city officials are proposing falls on you, their citizens.

      What the city has proposed to do is implement a stormwater drainage utility fee.

      It would be another $2.50 a month on your water bill and the city says it would provide capital it needs for some aging facilities.

      According to Assistant Director of Public Works Van Hagan, parts of our drainage facilities are more than 80-years-old.

      Right now if something breaks, there's no program in place that will help with repairs.

      Which is why he says this drainage fee could be very vital to the city.

      "It would set up a user fee based system for all of the properties that are contributing into the storm drain system, so that we could develop a fund that would take care of the maintenance and up keep of all the drainage facilities within the infrastructure."

      The city says the monthly fee will help protect your property and all properties subject to floods when a huge storm moves through.

      "If we have a major storm event and we haven't been able to maintain the storm drain system, so that it can effectively move the storm waters out of the inundated areas, then it's just going to back up into those areas and it could flood your property."

      Money from this fee would also let the city do other much-needed work that has been reported time and time again from areas all over Amarillo.

      "On an annual basis we get a lot of people calling saying, we have a flooding problem over here, we have a drainage issue in this part of town and so we document this, but unfortunately we have no funds to actually go out and do anything about them."

      Before it becomes official, you will get the chance to give your feedback to city officials about whether this stormwater drainage fee is something you support.

      Here are the meeting time and dates:

      - January 11, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. - Emerson Elementary: 600 N. Cleveland

      - January 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. - Tradewinds Elementary: 4300 Williams

      - January 18, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. - San Jacinto Elementary: 3400 West 4th Avenue

      - January 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. - Puckett Elementary: 6700 Oakhurst

      Hagan says those sessions will be educational, and he encourages you to get out and learn more about this proposal.