WILMINGTON, OH – The City of Wilmington has recently implemented a Fee for Stormwater; i.e.: runoff water that is created by natural precipitation – namely rain and snow. According to their website – monthly billing is based on the amount of square footage a property can create, multiplied by a designated flat rate; so that “every property with Impervious Surface area will pay their fair share”.
While instituting policies that better the community are generally well received – The proper research to follow through on implementation must also be done.
To date, there are businesses and residential areas within city limits already utilizing systems to control Stormwater; such as: retention ponds and graveled areas. Which begs the question – is tacking on a blanket fee “in fairness”, truly fairness?
The Covid-19 Pandemic was the focus of 2020 for many, as the impact of economic hardships continued; although ongoing – The City released an announcement via The Wilmington News Journal in October, plans to “address Stormwater” by “raising rates for the first time in 12 years”.
Depicted in the info-graphic above (provided by The City of Wilmington) is an example of a Stormwater system. The 2 distinct pipes are used to keep the differentiated sources separate:
- A Stormwater drainage pipe – used to transport smooth surface runoff created by precipitation directly into waterways (such as lakes) as it does not processing at a facility.
- A Sewer pipe – devoted to transporting Wastewater created by everyday household/business use to be treated in Wasterwater facilities.
Immediately following, is the complete address to the city regarding the issue made in The Wilmington News Journal as mentioned above:
In short – City Council has approved charging both a Stormwater Utility Fee and increasing Wastewater Fees, to fund building a larger capacity Wastewater Treatment Facility to offset the amount of Stormwater that enters the sewer system and patch up the minimal existing storm drains.
Under advisement of the leadership for the new program, constructing the comprehensive 2 system piping throughout the entire city would be too time consuming (approximately 10 years), inconvenient, and costly for citizens.
Per the definition: Stormwater should only move through storm drains that flow into natural waterways as it does not require treatment; therefore sprucing up old pipes and constructing a new Wastewater Treatment Facility does not resolve the EPA Program referenced (the fundamental rationale for charging the fee).
All the while, Stormwater collection was enacted in July of 2021 via property owners’ water, (increased) wastewater, recycling, and trash statements; under The Wilmington, Ohio – Code of Ordinance 921.10 (a): disposal of Stormwater into sanitary systems is prohibited; and may be penalized under Ordinance 921.99: by a $500 fine, 6 months in jail, or both – even though city limit infrastructure has not integrated alternative disposal mechanisms.
But unlike a jail sentence, precipitation has no “end date”; and with or without the proper system in place – Stormwater Fees will also be here to stay.
*If you would like to express any concerns or Appeal your Stormwater Utility Fee, complete the request form: HERE
Email to: email@example.com
Mail to: Stormwater Administrator
475 S. Nelson Avenue
Wilmington, OH 45711[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]