The City is exploring solutions to lessen the impact of the stormwater utility on residents who have low income. We have discovered that most stormwater utilities do not offer a low- or fixed-income program.
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Your existing best management practice may qualify for a credit if it was built to the required credit design standards, has been properly maintained, and functions as it was designed to function. Your existing best management practice must have its original capacity to qualify.
Both brick and gravel are considered impervious surfaces as they are typically not designed for stormwater infiltration. However, in the rare instance that these materials are used in a way designed for stormwater infiltration, the project may qualify for a green infrastructure or rate reduction credit.
You would still need to pay the utility fee because most surfaces, including grass, generate stormwater runoff. Native prairies and woodlands still generate runoff. Grass just generates less runoff than impervious surfaces. The City is using the impervious area to determine each property’s use of the system. This methodology is used by many other cities for their stormwater utilities. If the City were to do an actual drainage analysis of every property (that would be over 46,800 properties!), the administrative cost would be high and the general outcome of that effort would result in a cost distribution similar to using impervious area information.
Property owners who drain to a creek, ravine, pond, or lake still must pay the stormwater utility fee. These water bodies are important parts of the stormwater infrastructure system. Lakes often feature overflow structures that drain water into the stormwater system when the level rises too high. The stormwater system is made up of City-owned and privately-owned infrastructure and the utility will provide funds to help maintain that infrastructure. The Private Property Drainage Assistance Program and Stormwater Infrastructure Investment Grant are two programs to help private infrastructure maintenance.
If you are required to construct something by ordinance, you cannot receive a grant but you may be eligible for a credit. Grants reward green infrastructure construction when it isn’t mandated, but rather the property owner is taking extra steps to improve their property.