Stormwater Utility Fee – FAQ

How much will it cost me?

The Stormwater Utility Fee Rate Ordinance was passed by Council on April 17, 2012. The ordinance states that single family/duplex properties’ stormwater utility fee would be a flat monthly fee based on tiers. Properties would be placed in a tier-based on the amount of impervious area on the property. Tiers established in the ordinance are:

Per the ordinance for non-residential/duplex properties, the stormwater utility fee is based on impervious area. The fee rate would be $ 5.24 per month per 3,478 sq. ft of impervious area. The 3,478 sq. ft of impervious area is the average single family property impervious area.

An example calculation of the proposed stormwater utility fee for a non-residential single family or duplex property with 10,000 sq. ft of impervious area is provided below.

If a stormwater utility fee is implemented, what capital improvements could be completed?

Council has made no final decisions on which capital projects to fund. However, Council has indicated that if a stormwater utility fee was implemented, the additional funding that would result from the fee would be used to fund additional capital improvements for stormwater drainage. Specifically, the 2011-2013 City Council Goals identified two key drainage capital improvement projects:

• Finish Phase 2 of Washington Street West Stormwater Project.

• Initiate Phase 3 of Boneyard Stormwater Improvements.

 

With the existing funding, what stormwater capital improvements have been completed?

To date, the City has completed approximately $38.2 million of improvements on the Boneyard Creek. Projects include the Healey Street Detention Basin, channel improvements north of Green Street between Sixth and First Streets, the Scott Park channel improvements and detention, and the Second Street Reach channel improvements and detention. These improvements have eliminated all the flooding that used to occur along Green Street, through Scott Park, and along Second Street between Springfield Avenue and University Avenue. The projects also eliminated flooding of the Green Street viaduct. Due to the aesthetics that were incorporated into these projects, Scott Park and the Second Street Reach were transformed into beautiful community spaces.

The existing funding also provided $5.3 million for storm sewer improvements to eliminate flooding in the Springfield Avenue, Logan Street, and Chester Street viaducts. The flooded viaducts were a frequent nuisance disrupting traffic and creating public safety concerns.

Finally, existing funding has provided resources to complete drainage improvements to address the neighborhood drainage issues along John Street ($6.1 million) and Washington Street East ($1.8 million). In total, existing stormwater funding has provided $51.4 million for stormwater capital improvements.

Did the public have an opportunity to provide input on the stormwater utility fee?

Staff started work on the stormwater utility fee in October 2009.  In the last three years, there have been five Council Study Sessions on the stormwater utility fee.  Additionally, Council has passed four resolutions related to the stormwater utility fee, plus one ordinance which established the stormwater utility fee.

To help with the evaluation, Council established a Stormwater Utility Fee Advisory and Technical Committee.  The committees met from September 2010 through July 2011.  The advisory committee was reactivated to assist staff with the completion of the Credit and Incentive Manual for the stormwater utility fee.  The reactivated committee met monthly in June, July, and August 2012.

The packets for each committee meeting and minutes from each meeting are available on the Stormwater Utility Fee Advisory Committee Resource Page.  Committee meetings were televised on CGTV.  Committee meetings were recorded and are available for viewing at www.ci.champaign.il.us/cgtv (search keyword is “storm”).

There were four public information meetings on the stormwater utility fee, plus staff met with numerous individual and group stakeholders concerning the fee.  The completed outreach activities and written public input were attached as Exhibits D and E to Council Study Session, February 28, 2012, Report to Council.

What could the stormwater utility fee mean to the community and the citizens of Champaign?

The stormwater utility fee would allow the City to continue funding all of its existing stormwater services at their current levels. For a description of current services and funding, see the Existing Stormwater Activities and Expenditures.  The stormwater utility fee would also provide additional funding for drainage capital improvements.

What is the Stormwater Utility Fee Expenditure, Revenue, and Billing Plan?

On March 23, 2010, Council directed staff to develop an Expenditure, Revenue, and Billing Plan for a City stormwater utility fee. The purpose of the plan was to provide specific information on how a stormwater utility fee could operate in the City. Staff indicated this plan would help Council in reaching a decision on whether or not to implement a stormwater utility fee for the community. For a summary of the plan, see Expenditure, Revenue, and Billing Plan.

How much additional revenue would the City’s stormwater utility fee provide?

It’s estimated the City’s stormwater utility fee would generate approximately $3M annually in additional revenue. Administrative expenses for the fee are estimated at $683,200 annually. Therefore, new revenue for capital projects that results from the fee would be $2,316,800.

What is the Credit and Incentive Plan for the stormwater utility fee?

The stormwater utility fee proposed Credit and Incentive Plan provides a means for property owners to reduce their stormwater utility fee. Generally, the plan provides incentives for single family and duplex properties and credits for the non-residential properties. Credits are recurring discounts against stormwater utility user fees that are granted because the ratepayer installed and/or implemented on their property a qualifying stormwater management activity. Incentives are one-time disbursements that are granted to the ratepayer for doing the same. Qualifying stormwater management activities that are eligible for either credits or incentives must provide either a reduction in peak discharge, a reduction in stormwater runoff volume, a water quality benefit, or some combination of the three.

For additional information, see Credit and Incentive Manual.

Where can additional information be found on the City of Champaign stormwater utility fee?

The best sources for information on the City of Champaign stormwater utility fee evaluation/consideration are the Reports to Council that staff prepared for the three Study Sessions that have been held on the fee.  Links to these reports are listed below:

Additional reports and resolutions for other Council actions are listed below.  These actions established the Stormwater Utility Fee Advisory Committee, appointed members to the committee and hire AMEC Earth an Environmental, Inc to provide technical assistance for the fee.

  • June 15, 2010 – CB 2010-127 & CB 2010-128 – Stormwater Utility Fee Advisory Committee (Establish and Appoint)
  • August 3, 2010 – CB 2010-168 – AMEC Engineering Agreement
  • April 17, 2012 – CB 2012-044: Amended the City Code to establish the stormwater utility fee; 2012-045: Approved the Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Champaign and Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District for Billing Services; and 2012-046: AMEC Engineering Agreement