Advisory committee meets to discuss implementation of new stormwater fee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Stormwater Advisory Committee met today to review progress of implementation of the stormwater fee that went into effect July 1 to fund critical stormwater infrastructure and maintenance operations.

The stormwater fee went into effect July 1 with the first billing cycle for residential and non-residential properties:

 

Number of properties billed

2A revenue

July residential billing

135,590

$     638,314

July non-residential billing

  19,297*

$     677,950

Total July billing

154,887

$  1,316,264

Annual estimate based on July 2A revenues:

 

$15,795,172**

*Non-residential figures include residential properties that do not have water service through Colorado Springs Utilities.

** Calculation is based on July estimates and is subject to change. Calculations may also reflect prorated billing.

The committee reviewed and provided input on stormwater fee billing philosophies, business rules and practices. Committee members also reviewed the billing for the top 15 bills in a closed session to ensure the City is accurately carrying out Provision F of the Stormwater Fee ordinance that outlines how large sections of undeveloped land will be removed from the stormwater fee calculation for non-residential parcels greater than five acres.

“The reactivation of the Stormwater Enterprise and implementation of the stormwater fee assures sustainable funding for future projects and allows the City to dedicate General Funds previously used to fund stormwater to support other vital City services,” said Mayor John Suthers. “Colorado Springs residents can be assured that billing is fair, accurate and equitable as the Stormwater Advisory Committee works closely with the enterprise to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the stormwater fee and program.”

Since the Stormwater Enterprise was reinstated January 1, 32 of 86 stormwater projects planned for 2018 have been completed and $8 million is projected for projects in 2019.

The committee is made up of seven experts from the community and two City Council members who will meet quarterly. The committee elected a chair and vice chair to serve these position for the remainder of the term length they elected to serve.

Chair

Terry Schooler (1-year term)

President, Walker Schooler District Managers

Vice Chair

Emily Magnuson, P.E. (1-year term)

Practice Builder, Kimley Horn

Background

Ballot Issue 2A passed by 54 percent in the November 7, 2017 special combined election, approving a dedicated municipal government stormwater fee that will generate funding for critical stormwater infrastructure, regulatory permit compliance and maintenance operations for the City's stormwater program to meet the requirements outlined in the Inter-Governmental Agreement with Pueblo County through 2036.

In accordance with the ordinance re-implementing the Stormwater Enterprise all fees will be used only for the stormwater program: Stormwater capital needs, operation and maintenance, MS4 permit compliance, and compliance with intergovernmental agreements entered into before June 1, 2016. No stormwater funds will be spent for projects outside city limits and all projects directly impact Colorado Springs residents and ultimately downstream communities.

All residential units with water services through Colorado Springs Utilities will be assessed a $5 per unit monthly fee that will be collected through residents’ utility bill. The City has partnered with Colorado Springs Utilities to administer the monthly residential fee on its behalf as it is the most cost effective billing mechanism. Residential units within the city limits without an active water services agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities will be billed through a separate billing agency. 

The monthly fee for non-residential parcels will be $30 per acre.  Non-residential parcels over five acres will be individually assessed and undeveloped or unimproved land will not be counted as they do not significantly contribute to stormwater runoff. 

Click here and then on the “Meeting Agendas and Documents” tab to view today’s committee meeting presentation (also attached). For more information about the stormwater fee and the City’s stormwater program visit www.coloradosprings.gov/stormwater or call (719) 385-7876. For Springs Utilities account and billing questions, contact (719) 448-4800.