The local council is inviting community consultation as it seeks to update its Stormwater Management Plans for Barraba, Manilla, Moonbi, Kootingal, and Tamworth.
The updates would see major changes to the management of water runoff in the region as well as a slight increase in service charges starting from the 2024/25 financial year.
Council has not changed these plans since 2000, though its flood plans have been updated more regularly.
"The plans aim to identify and prioritise options for improving the management of stormwater quality and reduce impacts of excess runoff during storm events," council's senior stormwater engineer Aiden Pugh said.
Stormwater runoff, a by-product of rainfall, has proven a challenge for the Tamworth region to navigate as it continues to grow and develop, particularly during periods of flood.
The runoff is captured and diverted through a network of pits, pipes, and culverts, but degraded waterways, poor water quality, and "community indifference" to stormwater management is polluting the local environment, according to research commissioned by Tamworth Regional Council.
"As the community grows the needs of our community evolve too. The Urban Stormwater Management Plans will identify future capital works and recommend specific actions ... offering a cohesive, strategic approach to stormwater management in the region," Mr Pugh said.
The new management plans recommend a wide variety of solutions - more than 200 in total - ranging from community education programs to installing new wetlands.
The plans also recommend expanding the stormwater levy to all areas covered by the new plans.
Currently, only properties within the City of Tamworth are required to pay the annual $25 charge, or $25 per 350 square metres for business properties.
Under the new plans, that charge would expand to properties in Tamworth's outer-lying suburbs, as well as the neighbouring towns of Barraba, Manilla, and Kootingal.
"I'm sure [these plans] will bring out comments from people particularly in East Tamworth that may be impacted, or anywhere else where there's overland flows and things like that," Councillor Mark Rodda said, as councillors voted to put the plans on public exhibition at their latest meeting.
The draft plans went out for public comment on Tuesday, August 29, and feedback can be provided on council's 'Have Your Say' website until Tuesday, September 26.
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