Take the Stormwater Utility Survey
The City of Hendersonville is embarking on a process to evaluate and update the City’s stormwater utility structure. Earlier this year during their annual budget retreat, City Council received an update on the stormwater program and Wash Creek Master Plan. Changes to the current utility were discussed with the goal of increasing the annual stormwater budget in order to fund capital improvements to the existing stormwater system and invest in future stormwater management.
“We are conducting a stormwater utility rate study and will be reaching out to stakeholders for feedback,” said Stormwater Administrator Michael Huffman. “The goal of the study is to evaluate program needs and engage with our customers to create a fair and equitable utility that meets the needs and desires of City leadership and our citizens.”
The City of Hendersonville’s Stormwater Program is a federal and state mandated program under the Clean Water Act to address non-point source pollution from stormwater runoff. Hendersonville is a federally designated NPDES Phase II community and operates under the authority of the Stormwater Management Program which became effective in August of 2007. The City’s NPDES Permit consists of six management areas aimed at reducing stormwater pollution and ensuring clean water is maintained in our city’s water bodies. These include closely managing and maintaining the public stormwater drainage system, eliminating illegal dumping, enforcing the city’s stormwater ordinance, and involving the public in these processes.
The federal government requires the city to designate a steady source of revenue to support the operation of the Stormwater Program. This revenue is commonly collected through a stormwater fee or utility. The majority of NPDES communities in NC have an established stormwater fee.
Currently, the City collects a $3.00 flat fee from all water/sewer customers within the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). As the City continues to grow a greater demand is being placed on the stormwater system and overall Stormwater Management Program. The past several years have highlighted a need for significant capital improvements to the existing stormwater system and substantial investments in future stormwater management. Currently, the revenue generated by the City’s stormwater utility is not able to support these costs. Therefore, the City is planning to restructure the stormwater utility to better address the financial needs of the stormwater program.
The City has contracted a consultant who specializes in developing stormwater utility rates to assist in these updates. The City will be reaching out directly to large, non-residential customers for feedback in developing the new utility structure and a recommendation will be brought to City Council for consideration.
Residential customers are also being asked to provide feedback through a short online survey.
Participants who complete the survey before September 30, 2019 will be entered to win a free “Ivy” 50-gallon rain barrel valued at a retail cost of more than $100. One survey participant will be selected at random and contacted to claim their rain barrel.
More information on the City’s Stormwater Management Program