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With a storm water rate, users are charged a fee for runoff discharged from their property to the City’s storm water management system, not by the amount of rain falling on their property. Property owners control the level of development on their properties, which directly impacts the runoff characteristics of the parcel. Rate payers also contribute to the management and maintenance of the stormwater systems on all of the public roads the parks and parking lots utilize for personal, industrial and commercial activities.
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If you would like additional information on the Storm Water Utility Rate, or have specific concerns about storm water issues, please contact Ken Clarke, Stormwater Technician.
ll nonresidential, developed properties have the opportunity to install, maintain, and operate facilities and do other associated non-structural best management practices that benefit the local community, those parcels will then have the option to request a credit on their stormwater utility rate. Application forms are available by emailing Linda Taylor or calling 360-403-3526. The proposed ordinance includes the following credit allowances, upon submittal and review of a credit request.
ESU stands for Equivalent Service Unit and is used to convert the impervious area on non-residential property to service units equal to the base ESU of 6,000 square feet. To determine the number of ESU a non-residential property ‘s impervious area is measured and the total square footage is divided by the ESU to determine how many units will be charged. For example, if a non-residential property has a total of 18,000 square feet of impervious area, the property will be charged for 3 units (18,000 divided by 6,000 equals 3). Its stormwater charge would be 3 times the residential/base rater or 3 time $3.45 per month.
In order to determine how much impervious surface is on a piece of developed property, the City utilized Geographical Information System (GIS) maps of our area to determine the total square footage of the impervious surface on a parcel and the actual lot size. Because lot sizes and impervious surfaces vary from residential parcel to residential parcel, the Council and the Stormwater Rate Structure Committee decided to establish an Equivalent Service Unit (ESU) of 6,000 square feet as the base unit/residential unit. Every Arlington home or equivalent residential unit is equal to one ESU.
Arlington's Design and Construction Standards can be downloaded from the Construction and Utility Permits page.
The inspection line phone number for Water is 360-403-3526. For Sewer it is 360-403-3508. For Stormwater it is 360-403-3523. Please give 48 hours notice.
The money gathered through the user fee will go towards better stormwater management, and you should gradually see results in terms of better flood management, stormwater maintenance and regulatory compliance. In the field, we will be keeping a photographic log of areas when work is done. We will also be posting signs and providing news releases on projects as they are completed. Maintenance of the system is recorded in the Cartegraph database. Priorities are identified in the Stormwater Comprehensive plan, and considered as new problems arise.
The City addresses stormwater problems in three ways.
As precipitation falls on agricultural and undeveloped areas, it is primarily absorbed into the ground or slowly runs off into streams, rivers, or other water bodies. However, development resulting in rooftops and paved areas prevent water from being absorbed and create a faster rate of runoff. This development often causes localized flooding or other water quantity or quality issues. The rainwater that comes in contact with the streets and parking lots carries the automotive related heavy metals and petroleum products in to our streams and groundwater if not treated. There are nutrients and bacteria associated with fertilizers and pet waste that result in risk to human and fish health if not managed properly.
The City is responsible for managing all aspects of storm water within its jurisdiction. The city operates and maintains drainage facilities that are located within the public right of way or public easements. The city does not maintain facilities that are located on private property or that fall under the jurisdiction of other governmental jurisdictions. However, the City is responsible to assure that all private facilities are maintained and operating as designed. Some of the other important components of this program include:
The current senior citizen utility billing credit is available upon application for water, sewer and stormwater. Council and staff are in the process of researching the implementation of a low-income credit that would also apply to all utilities.
The Storm Water Revenue Fund will be similar to the City’s existing Water and Sewer Revenue funds, but will be a separate fund responsible for providing service to Arlington’s existing and expanding storm water drainage system. This enterprise fund allows fees to be collected and used to address flooding problems as well as improve water quality by reducing storm water pollution. Like Arlington, many cities throughout Snohomish County, Washington State and nationwide have established storm water management utilities.
The stormwater utility is a unit within the City that provides stormwater management. Like water, wastewater, solid waste, recycling, and electric utility - the Stormwater Utility generates its revenue through user fees. These fees are used for maintenance and operations of stormwater management devices, for stormwater systems planning and construction.
By establishing a storm water utility, the city will be able to take a more aggressive approach to storm water management. The additional funds raised through the storm water fee will allow the City to provide and increased level of system maintenance and repair, as well as enable the city to construct additional capital improvement projects.
Historically, the allocation of funds has not been sufficient to address all of the city’s storm water service needs. Although the city has done a good job providing storm water services on a limited budget, the backlog of storm water projects has grown and some maintenance activities have not been performed. Local, state and federal laws also require that municipalities address the environmental impacts of storm water pollution, but do not provide the funds to do it. Consequently, the City must investigate alternative means for raising revenue.
A storm water user fee is charged based upon the contribution of storm water runoff to the City’s storm water management system. This is a more fair and equitable approach than charges based on property value.
You may not have a problem, but the runoff generated from your property is contributing to problems downstream. The approach being taken through this program recognizes that everyone contributes to the problem (runoff and pollution) and everyone will share in the results (improved water quality, reduce flooding, unimpaired access to roads, etc.).
The stormwater utility fee is used specifically to address citywide stormwater issues. A septic tank is used to treat wastewater at a specific location. This wastewater is water that comes out of individual households or businesses. Properties that use septic tanks are not charged for sanitary sewer service. It should be noted that properties that are connected to the sanitary sewer system do pay for the sanitary sewer service as well as the stormwater utility fee.
The utility fee is included as a separate item on the City of Arlington utility bill received for municipal water and wastewater. It is due bimonthly through the bimonthly utility bill.
By utilizing residential dwelling units as the basis for storm water user fee, charges among parcel types can be compared to this Equivalent Service Unit (ESU).