STOCKTON – Property owners in Stockton have rejected by a more than a 2-to-1 ratio a new fee that would have doubled what they pay monthly for stormwater services – but would have kept the total cost at about the price of a cheeseburger.

Now city utility officials say they are scrambling to figure out how keep the stormwater fund from running out of money and how to fund state-mandated regulations aimed at keeping runoff pollution from reaching waterways.

The so-called Clean Water Fee would have added a $2.88 charge to the existing $2.10-a-month fee. Both would have gone to maintaining the city’s system for collecting and discharging the water that flows into storm drains. The fee has not increased since 1991, and officials say revenues have not kept pace with rising expenses.