The Grand Valley Drainage District is working on a plan to repay stormwater fees to rate payers

Bicycling the Colorado National Monument, Grand Valley in the distance via

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Amy Hamilton):

Tens of thousands of Mesa County residents who paid millions of dollars to the Grand Valley Drainage District to manage storm water starting in 2016 — fees a judge ruled earlier this year were actually an illegally collected tax — will receive refunds in the mail, including additional interest payments on their money.

But don’t hold your breath.

The process of full repayment will take three to six years, drainage district officials estimated Tuesday

The agency spent roughly $2.2 million of that money on projects before it lost a lawsuit lodged by Mesa County commissioners and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, and now the agency is legally required to pay residents back.

“We are going to pay people back,” drainage district Manager Tim Ryan said in an interview following a two-hour meeting of the district’s board of directors. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

A first payment should be mailed to residents late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2019, Ryan said.

The district plans to make the first round of refunds the largest share of the dollars they owe residents, but officials haven’t determined yet what percentage of the total refund owed that will be.

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