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The stormwater utility is a county-owned business, under the Public Services Department. The stormwater engineer and public services director will oversee all operations of the utility.
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The stormwater utility fees will generate approximately $1.5 million in revenue per year. The fees will fund ongoing operations and maintenance, capital improvements needs and meeting requirements for the federally-mandated Municipal Stormwater Discharge Permit. The new stormwater program was developed through consultations with County staff members. Staff examined the county’s current program and stormwater program needs and issues and then recommended a program that would meet the county’s needs over time.
The enhanced stormwater program funded by the stormwater utility fees will enable the county to meet the requirements of its federally-mandated stormwater permit as well as fund drainage improvement projects, enhanced enforcement and compliance for new development, drainage studies and public education and outreach. Stormwater fees can only be spent and will only be spent on stormwater-related activities.
As with all major capital projects in the county, there will be a public process for each stormwater capital improvement project.
County Council will approve the stormwater utility budget each year in a public meeting.
The stormwater utility will allow the county to make progress on the county’s capital improvement needs. Having the additional maintenance funding made available by the stormwater utility will prevent the backlog from growing at the rate it previously did as preventative maintenance will prolong the life of some infrastructure.