[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Hudson 3-12-2012 by Ord. No. 1-12. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Common Council finds that the management of stormwater and other surface water discharge within and beyond the St. Croix River and other bodies of water within the City of Hudson is a matter that affects the health, safety and welfare of the City, its citizens and businesses and others in the surrounding area. Failure to effectively manage stormwater affects the sanitary sewer utility operations of the City by, among other things, increasing the likelihood of infiltration and inflow in the sanitary sewer. In addition, surface water runoff may create erosion of lands, threaten businesses and residences with water damage and create environmental damage to the rivers, streams and other bodies of water within and adjacent to the City. Those elements of the system which provide for the collection of and disposal of stormwater and regulation of groundwater are of benefit and provide services to all property within the City, including property not presently served by the storm elements of the system. The cost of operating and maintaining the City stormwater management system and financing necessary repairs, replacements, improvements and extension thereof should, to the extent practicable, be allocated in relationship to the benefits enjoyed and services received therefrom.
Further, based on the City's population as determined by the 2010 Census, the City of Hudson will be required to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act and Chapter NR 216, Wis. Adm. Code, which entails compliance with more stringent rules and regulations regarding stormwater management, including a municipal separate storm system general permit.
In order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, the Common Council is exercising its authority to establish a stormwater utility and set the rates for stormwater management services. The City is acting under the authority of Chapters 62 and 66 of the Wisconsin Statutes, and particularly at least the following statutes: §§ 62.04, 62.11, 62.16(2), 62.18, 66.0621, 66.0809 and 66.0821.
To protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, there is hereby established the City of Hudson Stormwater Utility.
The stormwater utility shall be under the supervision of the Common Council. The Public Works and Parks Director shall be in charge of the stormwater utility, subject to review by the Common Council. A report on the operations of the utility and a capital improvement plan shall be provided to the Public Works Committee on an annual basis. The Public Works Committee will review the need for continuation of the utility no later than July 31 of each year and will make recommendations to the Council concerning the continuation or operation of the stormwater utility. The Council shall consider and take action on the Committee recommendation.
The City, acting through the stormwater utility, may acquire, construct, lease, own, operate, maintain, extend, expand, replace, clean, dredge, repair, conduct, manage, and finance such facilities, operations and activities as are deemed by the City to be proper and reasonably necessary for a system of stormwater and surface water management. These facilities may include, without limitation due to enumeration, surface and underground drainage facilities, sewers, watercourses, retaining walls, ponds, streets, roads, ditches, and such other facilities as will support a stormwater management system. Additionally, the City, through the utility, shall educate and inform the public on proper stormwater management techniques. In promulgating the regulations contained in this chapter, the City is acting pursuant to authority granted by Chapter 66 of the Wisconsin Statutes, including, but not limited to, W.S.A. §§ 66.0621, 66.0627, 66.0809, 66.0811 and 66.0821.
For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions shall apply: Words used in the singular shall include the plural, and the plural, the singular; words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; the word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary; the word "may" is permissive. Words not defined herein shall be construed to have the meaning given by common and ordinance use as defined in the latest edition of Webster's Dictionary.
- A reduction to the stormwater charge or to the impervious surface area used to compute a customer's stormwater utility charge to reflect site specific runoff characteristics as provided in § 241-8B.
- A percentage reduction applied to a customer's stormwater utility charge based on existence of an on-site stormwater management practice or facility that reduces the rate or volume of stormwater or sediment discharge to facilities owned or maintained by the stormwater utility, as provided in § 241-8C.
- The Public Works and Park Director.
- IMPERVIOUS AREA or IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A horizontal surface which has been compacted or converted with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by rainwater. It includes, but is not limited to, semi-impervious surfaces such as compacted clay, as well as streets, roofs, sidewalks, parking lots and other similar surfaces.
- RESIDENTIAL EQUIVALENT UNIT (REU)
- The typical area of single-family homes within the City and on the date of adoption of this ordinance codified in this chapter.
There is hereby established a Stormwater Management Fund, which shall be used for collection of revenues and payments of expenses relating to the stormwater utility. Any excess of revenues over expenditures in a year shall be retained by the fund for subsequent years' needs.
All revenues billed and collected from the stormwater utility fee shall be segregated, credited and deposited into a stormwater revenue fund to be established and maintained by the Finance Officer, and shall be used solely to pay for the costs of the operation (including billing, administration and overhead), repair, maintenance, improvement, renewal, replacement and adherence to stormwater permit requirements including all costs necessary to assure that all aspects of stormwater quality and quantity are managed in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations and rules.
By this chapter, the Common Council is establishing the rate structure for each lot and parcel within the City for services and facilities provided by the stormwater utility. The actual charges to be imposed, the establishment of formulas for calculations of the charges, credits, or adjustments, the establishment of specific customer classifications and any future changes in those rates, formulas, rate charges, adjustments, or credits, and customer classifications, may be made by Council resolution. All rates established pursuant to this chapter will be fair and reasonable. The current rates will be on file with the City Clerk.
Rate charges shall be used to fairly distribute the costs of the stormwater utility. These rate charges may include:
Charge per residential equivalency unit (REU charge). A base charge per REU shall be established and imposed on all property in the City, unless exempted under this chapter. The charge per REU will be designed to reflect the fact that all properties benefit from the stormwater management activities of the City and that all properties contribute in some way to the stormwater discharge that must be managed by the City. The charge per REU will be designed to collect all costs of the stormwater utility.
Residential equivalent unit (REU). The REU will be designed on the basis of a typical residential unit of property. Other units or uses of property will be charged multiples or fractions of the REU charge based on the impervious area contributing to the surface water runoff.
Special charge (SC). This charge may be imposed on property that is in an area specifically benefitted by a particular stormwater management facility. The SC will be developed to reflect the benefits services in a particular area that may not be appropriate to spread to property throughout the City. The SC will be calculated on an REU basis.
The Common Council may make such other customer classifications or adjustments as it deems necessary and appropriate to provide reasonable and fair distribution of the costs of the stormwater utility. In so doing, the Common Council may provide credits against certain of the charges set forth above for facilities installed and maintained by the property owner for the purpose of lessening the stormwater flow from that given property.
The City recognizes that certain properties may have less impact on stormwater utility costs than others in a similar rate class, either because of their geographic location, topography, or stormwater management practices property owners have implemented on site whether done voluntarily or as required by the City. Modifications to stormwater utility fees may be considered through corrections, adjustments, or credits, as described in this section. Credits or adjustments may be available to nonresidential and multifamily property owners. It shall be the burden of the property owner to apply for any credits and to demonstrate to a reasonable degree of certainty with evidence that a credit or adjustment is warranted under the terms of this chapter. All applications for credit or adjustments shall be reviewed by the Director or designee, and the Director may reduce the number of REUs in accordance with this policy after taking into consideration the demonstrated reduction in stormwater volume or improvements to the quality of water discharged into the City's stormwater management system.
Corrections. A customer may apply for a correction if the customer believes the impervious area calculation used for the REU designation on the subject property is incorrect. To be eligible for a correction, the customer must provide the stormwater utility with site-specific information to support the correction.
The Director may adjust the amount of impervious surface used to calculate the stormwater charge if the subject property has significant impervious surface area that is not being served by City-owned stormwater management facilities. This means that all or a portion of the impervious surface on a customer's property does not directly or indirectly discharge to any natural or man-made stormwater conveyance, storage, or treatment facility owned or maintained by the stormwater utility. In this case, the amount of impervious surface shall be reduced to reasonably reflect the amount that discharges into the City stormwater utility system.
The City will make adjustments of up to 20% of the stormwater charge for those portions of the nonresidential or multifamily residential property that are encumbered by a stormwater easement granted to the City under which the City maintains the responsibility for maintaining the easement area.
The utility provides for credits for use of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that reduce the amount discharged to the City's stormwater conveyance system or provide a quantifiable stormwater quality benefit through the treatment of stormwater runoff to capture nonpoint source pollutants. Some examples of BMPs are stormwater ponds, infiltration basins, green space, undeveloped property, and rain gardens. Properties may be eligible for a credit of up to 90% of the stormwater charge for implementing and maintaining BMPs. To be eligible for credit, all practices must comply with the design, operation, and maintenance requirements of all the applicable ordinances of the City of Hudson and applicable state or federal stormwater permitting requirements.
Documentation must be provided to the City supporting the application for a credit. For the City to be able to evaluate the application, it is strongly suggested that the documentation supporting the application be prepared by a licensed professional engineer and include the necessary drawings and calculations to support the application. It is the applicant's responsibility to prove the claim for the credit.
Credits must be applied for, and the Director will determine the amount of credit permitted. If the City's cost of providing stormwater service or making stormwater service available to a property has not been reduced by the use of a BMP, the request for the credit shall be denied. If the City's cost of providing service or making service available to a property has been reduced by the use of a BMP, the credit shall be provided in an amount reasonably related to the approximate reduction in the City's costs. The following types of credits are available:
Peak flow reduction credit.
A credit may be granted to nonresidential and multifamily residential properties that can demonstrate a minimum reduction of 25% of the amount of stormwater leaving the parcel via the use of a stormwater BMP.
Examples of BMPs to reduce the peak flow include stormwater retention and infiltration systems, grass swales, rain gardens, biofiltration areas, and drainage from parking lots into sufficiently sized grassed areas.
Credits may be given to a parcel that is retaining and infiltrating stormwater into approved on-site BMPs. The percentage of stormwater retained and managed based on a one-hundred-year twenty-four-hour storm event will be the basis for credit. Gutter systems discharging to impervious surfaces are not eligible for this credit.
Zero-percent to twenty-four-percent reduction in peak flow: no credit.
Twenty-five-percent to forty-nine-percent reduction in peak flow: 25% credit.
Fifty-percent to seventy-four-percent reduction in peak flow: 50% credit.
Seventy-five-percent to one-hundred-percent reduction in peak flow: 75% credit.
Green space credit. Green space areas meeting the following criteria can receive up to a seventy-five-percent reduction from the impervious surface area used to calculate the monthly stormwater charge. Green spaces shall be contiguous pervious vegetated areas incorporated into the developed parcel. The space shall not have more than 25% impacted, compacted soils. Green space must be 20 feet or more away from the nearest impervious surface or structure. The green space must be a minimum of one acre in size and not less than 25% of the total parcel.
Stormwater quality credit.
A credit of up to 25% of the stormwater charge may be granted for parcels that reduce the City's costs of treating stormwater discharge by implementing BMPs that quantifiably improve the quality of the stormwater discharge to capture nonpoint source pollutants.
Examples of BMPs to improve stormwater quality include provision of a permanent pool designed in conformance with Wisconsin DNR Conservation Practice Standard 1001 to capture sediment and other pollutants, infiltration basins, infiltration strips, rain gardens or bioretention systems sized and designed in accordance with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Practice Standards, installation and maintenance of manufactured devices designed to remove sediment from stormwater runoff, and installation and maintenance of measures to trap oil and grease using oil/water separators, replaceable inlet inserts, or other approved practices.
Maximum credit. The cost of the stormwater utility attributable to administration, inspection, monitoring, and testing is approximately 10% of the total budget. This portion of the cost benefits the public by managing stormwater City-wide, and shall not be eligible to be reduced through adjustments or credits. The maximum aggregate credit to the stormwater utility charge of any individual property is 90% of its gross billing amount, regardless of how many individual credits for which the property qualifies.
Exemptions. Undeveloped properties, public road rights-of-way, and parks shall be exempt from the stormwater utility charges.
The stormwater utility charges will be billed, as a line item on the City of Hudson water utility bill, to the utility property owner, or to the designated utility bill recipient, if different from the property owner. The stormwater utility charge shall be payable at the same time and in the same manner as the water utility charges. A stormwater utility bill will be established for those properties that do not receive a water utility bill. All bills for stormwater user fees shall become due and payable in accordance with the rules and regulations of the water utility pertaining to the collection of water bills. Late or unpaid charges shall be assessed a late fee and interest rate per City policy, to the maximum extent permitted by law.
The amount of the stormwater utility charge may be appealed as follows:
A written appeal shall be filed with the Public Works and Parks Director prior to the utility charge due date. The filing of an appeal does not stay the requirement for paying the charge, and an appeal will not be heard if the charge is not timely paid; or
Within 30 days of payment, a written appeal to the stormwater charge must be filed with the Public Works and Parks Director on behalf of the customer, specifying all bases for the appeal and the amount of the stormwater charge the customer asserts is appropriate. Failure to file a written appeal within 30 days of payment waives any right to later appeal the charge.
A property owner not satisfied with the Public Works and Parks Director's decision may appeal to the Public Works Committee for its review and recommendation.
Following review by the Public Works Committee, the Common Council will determine whether the amount of the stormwater utility charge is fair and reasonable or whether a refund and/or an adjustment is due the customer. The Common Council may act with or without a hearing, and will inform the customer in writing of the decision.
If the Common Council determines that a refund is due the customer, the refund will be applied as a credit on the customer's next stormwater billing, if the refund will not exceed the customer's next stormwater billing, or will be refunded without interest at the discretion of the Finance Officer.
In addition to any other method for collection of the charges established pursuant to this chapter for stormwater utility costs, the Common Council finds that these charges may be levied on property as a special charge pursuant to W.S.A. § 66.0627. The charges established under this chapter reasonably reflect the benefits conferred on property and may be assessed as special charges. The billing for such charges to the owner will serve as notice to the owner that failure to pay the charges when due may result in them being charged pursuant to the authority of W.S.A. § 66.0627. In addition, the City may provide notice each October of any unpaid charges to the stormwater utility, which charges, if not paid by November 15, may be placed on the tax roll under W.S.A. § 66.0627.
If the Common Council determines that the stormwater utility created by this chapter should be discontinued, all funds and assets acquired by the utility shall be retained by the City and used exclusively for stormwater management purposes.