[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Braintree 5-29-2018 by Ord. No. 18-026(4). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Stormwater management — See Ch. 13.14.
Pursuant to MGL c. 83, § 16, the Town hereby establishes a charge for the use of the stormwater management and flood control services of the Town, to be known as the "stormwater enterprise fee," for the purposes of providing revenue for services provided by the Town which are related to:
Transfer, control, conveyance and treatment of stormwater runoff through the Town;
Maintenance, repair, and replacement of existing stormwater management and flood control systems and facilities;
Planning, development, design and construction of additional stormwater management and flood control systems and facilities to meet current and anticipated needs;
Regulation of the use of stormwater management services, systems and facilities; and
Compliance with applicable local, state and federal stormwater management and flood control regulations, permit requirements and mandates.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE(S)
- Areas which prevent or impede the infiltration of stormwater into the soil in the manner in which it entered the soil, in natural conditions, prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, buildings or structures, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, storage areas, swimming pools, hockey rinks, decks, compacted gravel and soil surfaces not specifically engineered and maintained to be permeable, awnings and other fabric or plastic coverings, and other surfaces which prevent or impede the natural infiltration of stormwater runoff which existed prior to development.
- MUNICIPAL STORM DRAIN SYSTEM
- The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, water quality treatment structure, natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, reservoir, waterway or other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the Town.
- Runoff from rain, snowmelt, or surface water runoff and drainage.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- All services provided by the Town which relate to the:
- A. Transfer, control, conveyance or movement of stormwater runoff through the Town;
- B. Maintenance, repair and replacement of existing stormwater management systems and facilities;
- C. Planning, development, design and construction of new, expanded or upgraded stormwater management systems and facilities to meet current and anticipated needs or to reduce the discharge of stormwater pollutants to wetlands or waterways, ensure that the rate or volume of runoff discharged to wetlands or waterways approximates predevelopment hydrology, or prevent or remediate flood damage;
- D. Regulation of the use of stormwater management services, systems and facilities on public or private properties in Braintree; or
- E. Compliance with applicable state and federal stormwater management regulations and permit requirements.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT AND FLOOD SYSTEMS AND FACILITIES
- Natural and man-made channels, swales, ditches, rivers, streams, creeks, branches, reservoirs, ponds, drainageways, inlets, catch basins, pipes, headwalls, storm sewers, lakes and other physical works, properties and improvements which transfer, control, convey, detain, retain, treat or otherwise influence the movement of stormwater runoff.
- STORMWATER ENTERPRISE FEE
- A charge for the use of the stormwater management services of the Town of Braintree.
- STORMWATER ENTERPRISE FUND
- A specific management structure for the stormwater management fee, in which a municipal utility is established to administer the fee and the stormwater management program for the Town of Braintree similar to a water or sewer utility.
The Town shall be responsible for all costs to operate, maintain, improve and access those stormwater management and flood systems and facilities which are located:
Within the public road rights-of-way;
On private property but within easements granted to, and accepted by, the Town, or which are otherwise permitted to be located on such private property by written agreements for rights-of-entry, rights-of-access, rights-of-use or such other lawful means to allow for operation, maintenance, improvement and access to the stormwater management system facilities located thereon;
On public land which is owned by the Town and/or land of another governmental entity upon which the Town has agreements providing for the operation, maintenance, improvement and access to the stormwater management and flood control systems and facilities located thereon.
Operation, maintenance and/or improvement of stormwater management and flood control systems and facilities which are located on private or public property not owned by the Town, and for which the Town lacks a lawful right of entry, shall be and remain the legal responsibility of the property owner, except as otherwise provided for by state and federal laws and regulations.
The stormwater enterprise fee is imposed on each parcel of property, including undeveloped and tax-exempt parcels. The fee shall be billed in advance on a quarterly basis to the record title owner of the property. The quarterly bill shall be consolidated in the same bill as is sent to said property owner for other services provided by the Town supported by fees, including water service and sanitary sewer use. If the property does not receive a water/sewer bill from the Town, a bill for only the stormwater services will be sent.
Receipts from the stormwater enterprise fee shall be deposited in a special revenue account to be known as the "Stormwater Enterprise Fund" set up in accordance with the authority granted by MGL c. 44, § 53F1/2. The funds deposited in this account shall be used to fund the stormwater services provided by the Town.
The Director of Public Works shall recommend an annual budget for stormwater services to the Mayor. The Mayor shall include a proposed annual budget for the stormwater services in the proposed operating budget submitted to the Town Council. The budget submitted by the Mayor and approved by the Town Council shall set the annual budget at an amount that will be sufficient to provide for a balanced operating and capital improvement budget for the stormwater services provided by the Town.
The charge shall be based on equivalent residential unit (ERU) billing units. The annual billing rate for each ERU will be determined by the Director of the Department of Public Works annually.
During the first four fiscal years, the stormwater enterprise fee will be implemented gradually and the ERU billing rate will be calculated by multiplying an implementation factor by the annual stormwater budget and then dividing by the number of ERUs in the Town, where the implementation factor is 0.42 in year one and increases to 0.75 in year three.
Starting in the fifth fiscal year after implementing the stormwater enterprise fee, the billing rate for each ERU will be calculated by dividing the annual stormwater budget by the number of ERUs in the Town.
The ERU billing rate shall be on file in the office of the Department of Public Works.
The annual charge will be as follows. For residential properties with one- to three-family dwellings, the annual charge shall be one ERU billing unit. For all other properties, the number of ERU billing units shall be calculated by dividing the parcel's impervious area by 2,780 square feet and rounding the resulting value to the nearest tenth; however, if the calculated value is less than one, a value of one shall be used instead, or, for nonresidential property, if the value is greater than 116.7, a value of 116.7 shall be used instead.
Any impervious areas within the federal, state, county and Town-owned right-of-way used by the traveling public will not be attributed to the parcel and will not be considered as part of the total impervious area of the parcel.
Failure of the Town to send a bill for the stormwater enterprise fee shall not relieve the property owner of record from the obligation to pay the stormwater enterprise fee. If a property is unbilled, or if no bill is sent for a particular parcel of land, the Town may back bill for the fees as applicable for a period not to exceed one year of charges, but no late fees or delinquency charges of any kind shall be charged or recovered from any property owner so back-billed.
The provisions of § 13.04.010 pertaining to due dates and interest on unpaid charges shall apply to the stormwater enterprise fee.
In accordance with MGL c. 83, §§ 16A - 16F, the Town may assess liens on properties with unpaid accounts.
Pursuant to MGL c. 83, § 16E, if a property owner believes the stormwater enterprise fee is improperly calculated or is otherwise incorrect, the property owner may, on or before the date when payment is due of the first installment of the annual charge for the stormwater enterprise fee, and after payment of the quarterly charge in full, apply to the Department of Public Works for an abatement. The application for abatement shall be supported by such information as is necessary for a reasonable person to conclude that it is more likely than not that the billing is in error. The Department of Public Works shall have 90 days to consider the request for abatement and render a written decision which may deny the abatement, grant the abatement in full or grant the abatement in part. If such application for an abatement is denied in whole or in part, the property owner may appeal to the Appellate Tax Board within 90 days of the date of the Department's decision, upon the same terms and conditions as a person aggrieved by the refusal of the Town Assessors to abate a tax.