The success of the program to address water quality by reducing pollution will greatly depend upon the involvement of citizens like you. The best way to make a difference is to become informed about the programs in the area and then to actively participate. The City will be providing more information on the steps you can take in your business, home or school.
Protecting our stormwater quality is everyone's responsibility. Water is a precious resource we must protect. Spotting and reporting pollution, preventing pollution by recycling, and properly disposing of household chemicals are simple things everyone of all ages can do to protect our stormwater and our community.
Why do I have to pay when I do not have any drainage problems?
Everyone in the City benefits from the Stormwater Management Program. If stormwater runs off your property, the City must have a program and funding to manage the increase in runoff and pollutants. Direct benefits may include complying with Federal and State mandates, protecting your property from upstream runoff, protecting property downstream from your runoff, providing safe roadways, educating our children about pollution, and improving water quality.
How are non-residential or multi-family property fees determined?
To determine the annual fee, divide the total impervious area by 2,000 square feet (or one Equivalent Rate Unit) to obtain the number of ERUs and multiply by the rate. The minimum Utility fee for any developed property is never less than one ERU.
Impervious areas were determined by analyzing aerial photographs to identify the amount of impervious surfaces on each property.
How are residential property fees determined?
Each single-family residential dwelling unit is billed based on the measurement of building footprint, garage, driveway, and other features that interrupt the natural absorption of stormwater into the ground. Multi-family dwellings and all non-residential properties will be billed at a rate based on their impervious area as well. For each 2,000 square feet of imperviousness found on the property, a fee of $3.85 a month will be charged.
Are tax-exempt properties also exempt from the stormwater fee?
No, because it is a fee--not a tax. Taxes are based on the value of the property. The stormwater fee is assessed based on how much the property contributes to the amount of stormwater runoff from the property from the amount of hard or impervious surface on the property.
When will the stormwater fee take effect?
The Stormwater Advisory Committee's recommendations were formalized in an ordinance adopted in December 2002. Stormwater fees will be added to the Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) utility bill as a separate line item and be sent out starting in July 2003.
How was the stormwater fee established?
The stormwater fee is set by City Council based on a program of services developed in response to Federal and State water quality requirements as well as known stormwater quantity problems such as maintenance and remedial repair needs. The Citizen Advisory Committee assisted in identifying priorities for the program of services.
How was the City's Stormwater Management Program developed?
The program was developed after the City formed a Stormwater Advisory Committee consisting of Greenville citizens to address new water quality regulations, maintenance, and flooding issues. The Committee's recommendations included the development of a stormwater user fee where all developed properties in the City would pay to fund improved stormwater services. Once the Committee developed recommendations, the City started advising homeowners and other property owners of the plans to create a Utility specifically to address stormwater issues and charge a monthly fee for the improved services.
I have a drainage problem in my yard. Who do I call to get help with this problem?
You can call the City of Greenville Public Works Department at 329-4467. If the problem is a City responsibility, we will investigate your concern and advise you of what action can be taken.
Why is the Stormwater Management Program not funded by tax revenues?
The Stormwater Management Utility fee is fairer than a tax based on the assessed value of the property because of the following:
The fee is based on each property's actual demand for stormwater service as measured by how much hard surface is on the property (i.e., building, parking lot, garages, and similar surfaces).
Each property, including tax-exempt properties, will pay this fee, which contributes a fair and equitable share towards the overall cost of the Stormwater Management Program.
Will revenues be spent throughout the City?
Yes. The Stormwater Management Program is Citywide, and services will be provided throughout the City.
How will revenues be used?
All revenues will be used to support the stormwater program, which includes compliance with the Tar-Pamlico Nutrient Management State Regulations and the Federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Regulations for water quality. It also includes maintenance of the drainage system such as pipes and ditches, protecting properties from flooding, protecting our streams and wetlands from erosion and pollution, and major capital investments for the drainage system as it ages.
Why do I have to pay a stormwater fee?
The City is responsible for compliance with new Federal and State regulations on water quality as well as providing stormwater management facilities and services. This includes installation and maintenance of storm drains, inlets, and ditches as well as ensuring State programs such as erosion and sediment control are provided on construction sites. All of these services are done to protect personal and public property as well as provide for a healthy environment. Funding is not provided by Federal or State government for these services.
How much is the fee?
The fee is $3.85 for every 2,000 square feet (sf) of impervious cover you may have on your property.
Residential properties (single-family and duplexes) fall in one of four tiers:
200 sf-2,000 sf
$3.85 per month
2001 sf-4,000 sf
$7.70 per month
4001 sf-6,000 sf
$11.55 per month
6,001 sf or greater
$15.40 per month
All non-residential properties (all properties other than single-family and duplexes) will be charged $3.85 per 2,000 square feet of impervious cover actually existing on their property per month.
How will the new Stormwater Management Program be funded?
As part of City Council's decision to establish a Stormwater Utility, the decision was also made to create a new fee solely to fund the Utility. The fee is dependent upon the amount of impervious cover (hard surface) one has on their property. Impervious cover is anything that covers the ground preventing it from absorbing water. Impervious cover may include such things as the rooftop of your house and other buildings, driveways, sidewalks, etc. The fee will be charged to all those owning or renting property with some form of impervious cover exceeding 200 square feet. The fee will be charged to all City property owners or renters to include residential properties, commercial properties, schools, churches, universities, hospitals, etc. In addition, governments (i.e., City, County, State) will be charged this fee. No one will be exempt from the fee.
How does Greenville propose to manage stormwater runoff?
The City of Greenville began looking at our Storm Drainage Program in 1997. With impending environmental regulations on the horizon initiated by the Federal Government and the state of North Carolina, it was very clear we needed a more proactive approach to manage stormwater runoff. With the help of a Stormwater Advisory Committee appointed by City Council, we developed a Stormwater Management Program that will operate as a Utility. City Council adopted the regulations in late 2002, which established the Stormwater Utility. Through this Utility, the City will increase our level of maintenance of open channels, storm drain pipe systems, and other storm drain related facilities. We will also begin a more active Capital Improvement Program to upgrade old and failing drainage systems.
Why do we need to manage our stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff needs to be managed just as any other natural resource. First, it is needed to maintain the quality of our natural watercourses as drinking water supplies and for recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, water skiing, etc. Secondly, stormwater also needs to be managed to minimize damages that may occur when stormwater runoff exceeds the capacity of the pipes and open channels used to carry stormwater to our rivers and streams.
How does stormwater runoff impact our lives?
Stormwater is the primary source from which our natural watercourses are replenished. The water one sees in the rivers, lakes, and streams generally comes from stormwater runoff. The water you drink in Greenville comes from the Tar River and is treated and prepared for drinking by Greenville Utilities Commission. The condition of the stormwater runoff has a direct impact on the water quality in our streams, rivers, and lakes. As experienced in 1999, the quantity of stormwater runoff can also be of critical importance as too much stormwater runoff will result in flooding.