The City of Burlington implemented a local stormwater utility fee on all water and/or sewer accounts effective with the August 1, 2005 readings. It is a flat fee that is billed monthly with other city services (water, sewer, sanitation/recycling) and is utilized to administer a stormwater management program in response to Federal and State regulatory requirements. The City Council adopted the fee ordinance June 7, 2005 in conjunction with the approval of the City’s 2005-06 fiscal budget. A copy of the ordinance is attached below.
The ordinance originally set the fee at $2.00 per month. It has been periodically adjusted by City Council during its annual fee setting process and is currently $5.00 per month.
ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR A STORMWATER UTILITY FEE
WHEREAS, the City of Burlington is subject to the provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (commonly referred to as the Federal Clean Water Act), 33 U.S.C. Par. 1251 et seq. (the Federal Clean Water Act), and the regulations promulgated thereunder; and
WHEREAS, there are continuing and growing threats to the public health, safety and welfare of the City and its residents created by stormwater, including flooding, erosion, water pollution, traffic hazards caused by flooding, and other similar hazards; and
WHEREAS, owners or users of improved property within the City, whether public or private, are served by and benefit from the City’s stormwater system in that the manmade impervious surface on such improved property contributes to stormwater run off which occurs from such property, beyond the amount which would occur if such property were undeveloped and in its natural state; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of a Stormwater Utility Fee based on a flat rate is an accepted rate methodology for a stormwater program and such changes have been imposed by numerous public stormwater systems throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, the City Council hereby finds and determines that the establishment of a stormwater utility fee, as herein provided, to be collected from all water and/or sewer customers, or owners or users of improved property, whether public or private, based on a flat rate is fair and reasonable; and
WHEREAS, the stormwater utility fee bears a substantial relationship to and is designed to cover the costs of meeting the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements, as herein provided and the revenues to be delivered from such stormwater utility fee will be set aside in a separate fund and used for the purpose of meeting the City’s Phase II stormwater permit requirements and for the purpose of operating and maintaining the stormwater system, and
WHEREAS, the City Council does hereby find and determine that the adoption of this ordinance is in the public interest of the City and its residents, will further the public purpose of the City and is desirable and necessary in furtherance of the public health, safety, and welfare of the City and its residents; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the authority granted by North Carolina General Statutes, Section 160A-314, the City Council desires to adopt this ordinance establishing a stormwater utility fee.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF BURLINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA:
The City Council of the City of Burlington, pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, Section 160A-314 does hereby adopt the following ordinance:
Section One. Establishment of Stormwater Charges. There is hereby established a Stormwater Utility Fee to be imposed on all property within the corporate limits served by a water and/or sewer system whether public or private based on a flat fee of $2.00 per month and said fee does not exceed the City’s cost of providing a stormwater management program and a structural and natural stormwater and drainage system.
Section Two. Billing. The stormwater utility fee shall be issued monthly or bimonthly dependent upon the normal water and/or sewer billing cycles, and shall be shown as a separate item. The stormwater utility fee shall be billed to the owner of the property or to the person in whose name the water and/or sewer is/are billed. For the City’s convenience the stormwater utility fee shall be billed together with the solid waste fee and the water and/or sewer fees.
Section Three. Application of Stormwater Utility Fee. All payments for the stormwater utility fee, the solid waste user fee and water and sewer charges whether full or partial payments shall be applied to the customers accounts as follows: First, to any solid waste fee charges including any arrearages; second, to any stormwater utility fees including arrearages, and third, to any water and sewer charges including arrearages. In the event of partial payments, the utility charges will be considered outstanding and the disconnection for non-payment will be enforced in accordance with City Code Section 37-45.
Section Four. Application of Revenues. All revenues billed and collected from the stormwater utility fee shall be segregated, credited and deposited into a stormwater revenue fund to be established and maintained by the Director of Finance of the City of Burlington, and shall be used solely to pay for the costs of the operation (including billing, administration and overhead), repair, maintenance, improvement, renewal, replacement and adherence to the City’s Phase II stormwater permit requirements including all costs necessary to assure that all aspects of stormwater quality and quantity are managed in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations and rules.
Section Five. Appeals. Any person who considers the stormwater utility fee billed to such person pursuant to the provisions of this Ordinance to be inaccurate or erroneous may request a review thereof by the Administrative Services Revenue Collections Manager or his/her designee. This Ordinance shall not be construed as to relieve any person from the payment of any fee or charge which is due and payable under the provisions of any prior ordinance, nor to bar the collection of same by any and all means in said prior ordinance or otherwise provided by law.
Section Six. That all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are repealed.
Section Seven. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall become effective on July 1, 2005.