Storm Water Utility
What is a Storm Water Utility?
Over the past several years, The City of Burlington has seen more frequent large and intense rain events. The storm water runoff that is generated overwhelms the existing storm sewer system. This flooding causes dangerous travel conditions and standing water around the City long after the rain event has passed. In order to maintain and improve the storm water system the City of Burlington is seeking to establish a Storm Water Utility. There are over 120 storm water utilities within the State of Wisconsin.
A Storm Water Utility would provide an equitable way to fund mandated and necessary improvements to the City’s storm water infrastructure. The utility would be an enterprise fund for which storm water related revenues and expenditures are separate from the City of Burlington’s general tax levy and is a more equitable way to fund storm water improvements because the user fees are based on how much run-off the user produces, not their property’s value or tax status.
All properties within the City would be charged a fee based on the amount of impervious surface and stormwater generated. This would include properties owned by nonprofit organizations such as schools and churches. This spreads the responsibility for funding improvements to all users proportionally based on how much their properties contribute to the storm water burden of the community.
Impervious surfaces (i.e. rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, etc.) do not allow storm water to properly infiltrate into the ground creating additional runoff volume. As the stormwater travels over the impervious surfaces it collects oils, grease, fertilizers, pesticides, trash, grass clippings, leaves, and chemicals which all end up in the surrounding bodies of water. These pollutants create poor water quality and have negative impacts to the animals, plants and users that rely on these bodies of water.
Storm water utility funds are dedicated to the planning, maintenance and construction of storm water facilities necessary to reduce runoff pollutants to meet the WDNR and EPA mandates. Storm water facilities may include detention ponds, rain gardens, infiltration basins, storm sewer maintenance and improvements, street sweeping, leaf collection, and erosion control.
Storm water Utility Creation
The City is proposing to create a storm water utility allowed under Wisconsin State Statute § 66.0821 by creating a Storm Water Utility Ordinance. The proposed ordinance will be discussed at the November 2, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers, 224 E. Jefferson Street or via Zoom using the link in the meeting agenda.
How a Storm Water Utility Will Impact Property Owners
Parcels will be charged based on their classification determined by the total Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU) of a property, which is the impervious surface area of a property. The table below estimates ERU for each property parcel within the City of Burlington. Estimated storm water fees are shown for three possible utility budget scenarios. The utility budget is scenario is listed in red with the corresponding rate listed below it in green. These utility budgets are presented for illustrative purposes and show the potential range of fee impacts based on likely budget scenarios. The actual budget for the Utility and rate per ERU would be set by the Common Council as part of the annual budget adoption.
Properties are listed in Parcel ID order. To find a property you own either scroll through the list to find your Parcel ID or use the search function of your PDF viewer. Street addresses are listed as well and may be searchable based on the capabilities of your PDF viewer.
Discussions at Committee of the Whole Meetings
|May 18, 2021 Discussion|
|June 1, 2021 Discussion|
|July 6, 2021 Discussion|
|September 7, 2021 Discussion|
|September 21, 2021 Discussion|