Yes, all new development and re-development is required to follow existing City ordinances that require them to build, at their expense, storm sewer systems, and stormwater detention facilities to manage the runoff generated by their developments.
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Stormwater is any precipitation that falls from the sky. Stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be held on the surface and evaporate, or runnoff and end up in nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies.
The stormwater system consists of all the gutters, inlets, storm drain piping, swales, and water bodies.
The City is required to meet service and permit obligations mandated by federal and state regulatory programs. The stormwater utility allows the City to meet those service obligations, expand the level of services in our community, and become solvent through cost recovery associated with those services. Several projects have been identified that will lessen the impact of local flooding, and these projects will be paid in part from the revenue generated by the stormwater fees.
All properties within the City limits that are developed will pay a fee.
All properties in the City contribute stormwater to the system, so all should contribute to the costs of operating the system. A portion of the utility’s revenues will be used to maintain and to make stormwater capacity improvements (pipes, structures, and water body), as well as address stormwater quality on our aging system. As facilities age, they require a higher level of maintenance and eventual replacement. Stormwater quality is an environmental concern that was not previously addressed with older systems and will need to be addressed with any new improvements.
No, the City will take care of stormwater pipes within easements and rights of way. Property owners are responsible for mowing and general landscape care in easements, as well as other yard areas, including portions of the right of way that front their property.
The fee will be added to the monthly water and sewer utility bills as a separate line item. Water and wastewater bills issued after October 1, 2018, will include the stormwater charges. The Stormwater Fee is not a tax, but a fee for service like the water and wastewater utility. Citizens will benefit from the Stormwater Fee through a better-maintained storm sewer system, increased control of local flooding, and improved surface water quality. Florida Statutes authorize the creation of this utility and the City enacted this charge by ordinance and resolution of the City Commission. The City and the County each provide water and sewer services within the City limits. Due to delays associated with starting billing services, the City billing began with a two months retroactive billing cycle and the County will begin billing in April 2019 with a seven-month retroactive billing cycle. All subsequent bills will be monthly.
The fee is assessed at $3.75 per equivalent residential unit (ERU). All single-family homes are treated as one ERU. All residential subcategories are assessed at a flat rate per the multiplier in the following table. As an example, a townhome is assessed at 0.67 ERU x $3.75 = $2.51.
The ERU is a billing unit defined by ordinance as an impervious surface with a measurement of 2,788 sq. ft. Commercial parcels with the Utility’s service area (non-flat rate parcels) were individually measured using GIS/aerial photography to determine the extent of each parcel’s impervious area, which was converted to ERUs by dividing by 2,788 sq ft/ERU. As an example, a large apartment complex with retail that measures 27,880 sq. ft. of imperious area will be divided by 2,788 sq. ft./ERU for a total of 10 ERU’s. In turn, each ERU is billed at $3.75 for a total monthly cost of $37.50.
The City’s stormwater utility fee is a citywide utility established across all properties within the City and assessed on all facilities within the City to implement a citywide stormwater management system that provides for the collection, storage, treatment, and conveyance of stormwater that are a benefit to all residents within the City. The state and county requirements for surface water management for development are a requirement of all properties across the board irrespective of local municipal stormwater systems. The local fee is assessed simply as an equitable method for funding our maintenance and improvements of this utility for the benefit of the entire City.
The benefits include funding for improved services for flood reduction, water quality management, planning and studies to improve water quality and flood reduction, risk assessments, improved operation and maintenance, water quality monitoring, capital improvements, GIS database management, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (Federal Program) compliance, capital improvements, and natural resources restoration.