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Stormwater Utility

Lions Park

A stormwater utility is a way to fund the cost of municipal stormwater management services. A stormwater utility operates similar to an electric, water, or wastewater utility. Properties within the city pay for stormwater management services based on the amount of runoff generated from each property. Residents and businesses are charged a utility fee for the services provided based on the amount of impervious surface on their property.

A stormwater utility could fund stormwater system cleaning, stormwater system televising, street sweeping, existing infrastructure repairs, ditch grading and mowing, regional detention facility maintenance, new stormwater system infrastructure construction, a hazardous sump pump discharge abatement program, a rain barrel reimbursement program, a rain garden reimbursement program, green infrastructure incentives for new development, stream and rain gauge monitoring, creek maintenance, water quality public education and involvement efforts, erosion control plan review and site inspections, stormwater master plan, and Public Works & Engineering staff time committed to the stormwater system.

A stormwater utility allows for the implementation of an effective stormwater program, provides a dedicated funding source, funds mandated state and federal programs, provides an equitable fee schedule to implement programs, and frees up general fund revenue currently directed towards stormwater system maintenance for other capital improvements. Several eastern State of Washington communities including: Yakima,  Clarkston/Asotin,  Moses Lake, Spokane Valley, Ellensburg, Liberty Lake, West Richland, Yakima County, Sunnyside, Union Gap, Walla Walla, Colfax, Pullman, Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick have adopted stormwater utilities.

The City received a letter from the State of Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) informing the City of the need for the City to obtain a municipal NPDES permit by 2019. The DOE awarded the City a grant to develop a Stormwater Plan and Utility Rate Structure. A utility and rate structure needs to be developed for this program as several activities are required for a NPDES permit including education, elimination of illicit discharges, stormwater system operation and maintenance, and creation of regional facilities where required. Documents related to the NPDES permit and rollout of the City Stormwater Utility is located below in the Document Center. 

Stormwater Utility Resources

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Document Center

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Permit 1 documents
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Letter from Department of Ecology informing us of need to obtain NPDES Permit.
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Plan 1 documents
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Management manual developed by the State of Washington Department of Ecology for municipal stormwater management on the east side of the state.
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Rates & Finances 2 documents
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This is a Powerpoint Presentation developed by Parametrix and FCS Group that delves into what it would cost locally to operate a  municipal Stormwater Utility to satisfy the Department of Ecology.  Powerpoint is from June 5th, 2018 City Council Workshop.
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Refined information based on feedback from City Council during June workshop.
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