What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff is rainfall that drains off rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, roads, compacted soil, gravel, and other surfaces that prohibit the infiltration of rainfall into the ground. The stormwater runoff then flows into the City drainage system and into our local creeks and rivers. All developed properties in the City contribute stormwater runoff to the drainage system and, in some cases, to recurring drainage problems. In addition to flooding problems, stormwater runoff washes chemicals, debris, trash and other pollutants into the drainage system and our local surface waters.
What is the City of Statesboro’s responsibility for managing the impacts of stormwater runoff?
The City of Statesboro is responsible for the management of stormwater runoff and drainage issues within the City’s public drainage system. The City must undertake various activities including the cleaning of ditches and pipe systems; replacement of aging culverts and drainage structures; and construction of new culvert systems to improve stormwater drainage. Aging infrastructure and lack of resources to implement priority capital drainage projects combined with anticipated stormwater regulation from the State and Federal government have driven the City’s need to develop and implement a more comprehensive stormwater management program (SWMP).
How is the City of Statesboro proposing to address expanding SWMP needs?
The City of Statesboro has created a stormwater utility and approved a stormwater user fee that is dedicated solely to addressing stormwater management and drainage issues. The stormwater user fee provides the resources necessary for the City to deliver stormwater services to residents, businesses, institutional and government facilities.
What is a Stormwater User Fee?
A stormwater user fee is a charge for stormwater management services provided by the City to all developed properties in the City. Under the plan proposed, the stormwater user fee revenue collected can only be utilized for the provision of stormwater management services to customers.
How do you calculate a stormwater user fee charge for an individual property and utility customer account?
The stormwater user fee charge is based on the amount of impervious surfaces on a parcel. Impervious surface means those areas which prevent or impede the natural infiltration of rainfall and stormwater runoff. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, buildings or structures, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, storage areas, awnings, fabric or plastic coverings, and other surfaces such as compacted soil and gravel. The square footage of impervious surface on a property has a direct correlation to the amount of stormwater runoff discharged from that property. Developed parcels with greater amounts of impervious area will have a larger impact on the City’s drainage system and SWMP, and will therefore be charged a higher user fee.
Are gravel and compacted soil charged at the same rate as other types of impervious surfaces?
No, gravel and compacted soil will be charged at a reduced rate of 85% to account for the minor amount of superficial infiltration that can occur. This reduction factor of 85% is based on the literature data and the hydrologic characteristics of these types of materials as compared to undeveloped conditions.
How is my stormwater user fee calculated?
The stormwater user fee is based on a billing unit of 3,200 square feet of impervious surface. The billing unit of 3,200 square feet is the approximate median of impervious area on a typical single family parcel. Single family residential (SFR) properties will be charged 1.0 billing unit per month, in accordance with the median SFR impervious footprint. Non-single family residential (NSFR) properties will be charged a custom user fee charge based on the total impervious area on the property. For example, if a commercial site had 32,000 square feet of impervious surface, that customer would be charged 10 billing units per month.
32,000 square feet of impervious surface/3,200 square feet = 10 billing units
How much will customers be charged per billing unit?
The adopted stormwater user fee rate is $3.95 per billing unit per month.
Why did the City decide to implement a stormwater user fee charge?
The City has evaluated its stormwater program needs and concluded that additional resources were needed. The City has evaluated the feasibility of charging a stormwater user fee as opposed to increasing property tax millage, and has determined that the user fee approach is a more fair and equitable way to allocate costs of SWMP services. Under a stormwater utility, the user fee is not based on the assessed “value” of a property, like ad-valorem taxes, rather it is based on the demand that each customer imposes on the drainage system and the corresponding SWMP services provided. All developed property that receives stormwater services from the City pay a user fee, regardless of their tax status. This user fee approach is very similar to water, sewer, gas and sanitation.
Is there any way to reduce my Stormwater User Fee that is being charged?
Yes, both residential and non-residential customers may be eligible for credits to reduce their stormwater user fee charge by following the procedures outlined in the City’s Stormwater User Fee Credit Manual. The credits are based on specific activities that the customer undertakes with regard to their property to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the City’s drainage system.
What will be the billing frequency and the billing mechanism?
The stormwater user fee charge will be billed on each customer’s existing monthly utility bill beginning in July 2015. If you do not currently receive a utility bill from the City, you will receive a stormwater only bill beginning in July 2015.
Who do I call if I have additional questions?
Contact Marcos Trejo, Stormwater Manager, with any questions at (912) 764-0655.