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City implements stormwater utility fee
The City of Lewisville will soon begin collecting stormwater fees from utility customers to fund more than $33 million of stormwater infrastructure repairs and improvements.
Single-family residential properties in Lewisville will pay a flat rate of $4 per month. Commercial and multi-family properties, such as apartment complexes, will pay $1.43 a month per 1,000 feet of impervious surface. This new Stormwater Utility Fee will be listed on residential water bills starting in January.
The Stormwater Utility Fee will save single-family-residential customers money. Its estimated residents will save about $18 a year through the Stormwater Utility Fee versus having the city raise property taxes enough to pay for the improvement projects.
The cost of this Stormwater Utility Fee is spread equally based upon impervious surface area. Single-family homes account for about 28 percent of the impervious area in Lewisville, thus they will contribute about 28 percent of the revenue. Commercial and non-single-family properties account for 72 percent of the impervious area, thus they will contribute 72 percent of the revenue.
Stormwater is any form of precipitation, such as rainfall or snowmelt, which flows across developed and undeveloped surfaces. Stormwater that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which drains into the storm sewer system, or a surface water body such as lakes and rivers.
An impervious surface is any surface that has been compacted or covered with a layer of material that prevents water from soaking into the ground. Impervious surfaces increase stormwater runoff and contribute pollutants. Examples of impervious surfaces are sidewalks, rooftops, gravel surfaces, roadways, parking lots, buildings, and other man-made structures.
It is estimated the City of Lewisville will raise about $3 million per fiscal year through this fee. The City currently has 18 projects totaling an estimated $33.7 million in unfunded drainage improvement projects. The funding can only be used for improving drainage in flood prone areas, improving the existing storm drain system, constructing new drainage systems, erosion control or restoration projects, stormwater public education, and operations and maintenance of the municipal drainage system.
The City of Lewisville has created the Stormwater Fee Finder website, an online database, to help commercial properties and non-single-family residential properties determine their impervious area and calculate their monthly fee. Non-single-family property owners can use this website by simply entering their water bill account number to view the fees for their specific property.
Credits will be available to help property owners reduce their stormwater utility bills. To qualify for credits, property owners must practice qualifying stormwater management features on their property that help reduce stormwater runoff or improve stormwater quality. Credits may require engineering documentation, maintenance plans, inspections, and self-reporting to the Storm Water Division.
Lewisville’s Public Services staff will administer the Stormwater Utility Appeals process. Staff will collect written appeals from land owners. An appeal must be based on one of the following items: exempt property assessed a charge; an incorrect determination of impervious area; stormwater charges for the same property charged to multiple accounts; or the property falls outside the City’s jurisdictional area. Residents or businesses have 30 days from the date of the charge they wish to dispute to file a written appeal. The Public Services Director will respond to all appeals in writing within 30 days of receipt. The property owner then has 30 days to appeal to the City Manager. The decision of the City Manager will be final. The property owner filing the appeal shall bear the burden of proof by a preponderance of evidence for the relief sought in the appeal.
For more information contact Public Services Director, Keith Marvin, 972.219.3510.