A stormwater user fee, also referred to as a stormwater utility, is primarily a revenue-generating program that allows municipalities to better manage stormwater. This is accomplished by creating a designated fund for stormwater management and creating financial incentive to address issues associated with stormwater. Similar to a water or sewer user fee, a stormwater fund generates revenue through user fees that charge the property owner based on the impact their property has on the stormwater system.
Positive Change & Reduced Fees
Stormwater funds can also be drivers for physical change by allowing property owners to reduce their fees by reducing impervious cover or apply for credits for managing stormwater on-site. Impervious cover surfaces are those that don't absorb precipitation such as roofs, driveways, and parking lots.
A stormwater utility is an enterprise fund and is subject to annual budget review by the Town Council. Collected fees are kept in a separate account that does not commingle with other municipal funds. This not only helps municipalities to understand what they actually spend on programs, but also increases accountability and responsiveness. Middletown has demonstrated that enterprise funds, like the sewer fund, can be extremely effective when they are well managed.