On September 5, 2013, the Board of Aldermen adopted changes to the methods of calculating and collecting the Stormwater Management (SWM) Utility Fees for City properties.
CONTACT: Susan S. Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 10, 2013
City Stormwater Management (SWM) Utility Fees - Update to Calculation and Collection
Frederick, MD -- On September 5, 2013, the Board of Aldermen adopted changes to the methods of calculating and collecting the Stormwater Management (SWM) Utility Fees for City properties. Currently, The City of Frederick charges a Stormwater Management (SWM) Utility Fee for all properties that receive water or sewer service located in the City limits. The revenue generated from this fee is used to fund SWM programs throughout the City including the maintenance and inspection of stormwater management facilities, storm drain systems, swales, ditches, culverts, as well as street sweeping and compliance requirements for the City’s NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit.
At the September 5, 2013 Public Meeting, the following changes were formally adopted to the methods of calculating and collecting the SWM Utility Fee:
• All properties within the City will now be charged a Stormwater Management Utility Fee
• The Fee will be based upon impervious area. For residential properties including townhouses and condominiums, the average percent impervious area has been estimated. This is also the case for the downtown district area as defined in the ordinance. For all other properties including commercial properties, the fee will be based upon actual measured impervious area.
• All non-residential properties which have on-site stormwater management designed to current standards are eligible for a credit against the fee. Future residential construction designed to the latest Environmental Site Design standards will be eligible for a credit. The credit will be based on the standards that the on-site SWM facility was designed to at the time the property is developed.
• The changes, as adopted, shall take effect on January 1, 2014. The revised fee will appear on the next utility bill after that date. Properties that do not currently receive a utility bill will be billed separately.
• Applications for the credit program are currently under development and will be made available by the City Engineering Department by December 1, 2013.
The fee amount owed depends upon the size of the property and the percentage of impervious area such as paving and rooftops. A Percent Impervious Factor (PIF) as defined in the ordinance has been developed for various types of properties. To arrive at the fee owed, multiply a property area by the PIF and then by the unit rate which is currently set at $15/1,000 square feet of impervious area per year.
The Stormwater Management Utility Fee Ordinance can be found on the City website, www.cityofffrederick.com under “City Charter and Code” – Recently Adopted Resolutions and Ordinances as Ordinance G-13-XX. Should you have any questions about how the fee is calculated, please contact the City of Frederick Engineering Department at 301-600-1404.
Frequently Asked Questions about this Change
1. Why is the City making these changes?
The City is making these changes to more fairly and equitably collect the revenue necessary to provide for the treatment of stormwater and to meet our permitting requirements though the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The City currently collects a stormwater utility fee, however, it is not based upon impervious area nor is any type of credit available if on-site stormwater management is provided. These changes will address those matters.
2. What is the meaning of “impervious area”
Impervious Area is any type of surface that does not allow for the passage of stormwater into the ground. Examples include paving, concrete and rooftops.
3. If I feel the estimate of my “impervious area” is incorrect, what can I do?
There are provisions within the Stormwater Utility Fee Ordinance that allow for appeals based upon certain conditions.
4. Will I be billed before the credit program goes into effect? If so, will I receive a credit if I am eligible for the reimbursement?
The City Engineering Department will develop a Credit Application by December 1, 2013. Property owners who believe they are eligible for the credit may apply after that date. The credit will be applied to the account after the date at which it is approved by the City Engineering Department
5. Will the application for the credit program be mailed along with my utility bill?
No, the application will be made available online under The City of Frederick Department of Engineering website by visiting www.cityoffrederick.com, click on “Departments” then “Engineering”. Property owners will be required to submit the application and all required accompanying information in order to qualify for the credit.