The Village Council has been in discussions related to possible changes to the Stormwater Utility. The items below provide information and analysis for the Top Priority Action Item Consider Changes to the Stormwater Utility.
On November 22, 2016, the Village Council will begin to discuss how the community will pay for the $3.9 million cost of owning and operating the stormwater management system in 2017. They will decide if these costs will continue to be paid for with monthly Stormwater Utility fees or if one of the options below should be implemented.
Comments may be directed to: email@example.com
- Stormwater Utility Discussion: May 3, 2016 video
- May 3, 2016 Agenda Item/Report
- Stormwater Utility Discussion: April 5, 2016 video
- Stormwater Utility Report 2: April 5, 2016
- Stormwater Utility Report March 8, 2016
- Stormwater Utility Discussion: March 8, 2016 video
Stormwater Utility Information
|Community Response Center
Stormwater Utility Fee
In January 2013, the Village implemented a monthly stormwater fee, billed to all property owners in Downers Grove.
[The fee does not apply to unincorporated Downers Grove parcels.]
An impervious area is any area within a parcel which prevents or significantly impedes the infiltration of stormwater into the soil. Examples of impervious surfaces include:
- Parking lots
- Swimming pools
- Gravel and stone areas
The stormwater fee is based on the total amount (in square footage) of impervious area on each parcel, including all of the surfaces listed above.
Fees are expressed in Equivalent Runoff Units (ERU). One ERU is equal to 3,300 square feet of impervious area, which is the average for a single family residential property in the Village.
Factors Affecting Stormwater Rates
A new stormwater rate will go into effect for bills received after January 1, 2015.
Stormwater rates will increase to align with the recommendations of the 2012 Stormwater Study, which created the plan for the implementation of the Strmwater Utility in 2013. The stormwater fee covers the cost of future capital projects, debt service related to those projects, as well as operational and maintenance costs. These stormwater management costs are now fully shifted away from the property tax levy.
1. SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL parcels are charged based on a tiered system:
|Single Family Residential||2015 Monthly Fee||
2016 Monthly Fee
|Tier 1 (1-2,500 s. f. of impervious area) = .75 ERU||$7.29||$7.29|
|Tier 2 (2,501 - 4,000 s.f. of impervious area) = 1 ERU||$9.72||$9.72|
|Tier 3 (4,001- 7,000 s.f. of impervious area) = 1.5 ERU||$14.58
2. NON-SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL parcels and RESIDENTIAL PARCELS with greater than 7,000 s.f. of impervious area are charged based on the actual amount of impervious area, measured in ERUs, rounded to the next whole ERU.
|Non-Single Family Residential||2015 Monthly Fee||
2016 Monthly Fee
|Per ERU (3,300 s.f.)||$9.72||$9.72|
3. VACANT PARCELS are charged .3 ERU.
|Vacant (unimproved) Parcels||2015 Monthly Fee||
2016 Monthly Fee
Billing and Payment
The monthly stormwater fee will appear on the same bi-monthly bill currently used for water charges and will be renamed "Utility Bill". Stormwater fees will be reflected on utility bills beginning in January 2013.
- Properties on the south side of the Village will receive their first stormwater charges on January 2, 2013.
- Properties on the north side of the Village will receive their first stormwater charges on February 1, 2013.
Property owners and tenants are jointly responsible for paying the bills.
Utility bill payments will be applied toward the stormwater utility fee first, then to any water charges.
Outstanding utility bill balances that remain unpaid for 45 days may result in the shut-off of water service. The Village may also place a lien against the property.
Credits and Incentives
Opportunities exist for customers to reduce their stormwater fees by applying for an INCENTIVE or CREDIT.
An incentive is a one-time reduction in the stormwater utility fee, applied to a customer's account balance. It is offered to assist property owners with the cost of materials, construction and installation of qualifying stormwater facilities.
Incentives are available for qualifying rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers and other projects that reduce the total volume or peak volume of stormwater, and/or improve the quality of stormwater leaving a parcel. Examples include green roofs, cisterns and Best Management Practices outlined in the Village Stormwater Credit and Incentive Manual with Incentive Application. (Note: This manual is effective January 1, 2015)
Incentive amounts are as follows:
|Rain Barrel||$25 per property|
|Rain Garden||$300 per property|
|Permeable Pavers||$300 per property|
|Other Projects||Up to $250 per property
A CREDIT is an ongoing reduction in the amount of stormwater fees assessed to a parcel in recognition of on site systems, facilities, or other actions taken to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff, in compliance with the Village Stormwater Credit and Incentive Manual with Credit Application Form
There are six types of credits available, subject to the maximum levels shown.
|Control Activity||Stormwater Fee Credit|
|Site Run-off Rate Reduction
|Up to 20%|
(retention basin, permeable pavement,
|Up to 20%|
(Best Management Practices- BMPs)
|Up to 10%|
(outside and downstream of the Village's
|Up to 50%|
|Education||Up to 100%|
|Partnership (provide land/facilities to
Village to manage stormwater)
|Up to 100%|
Decisions affecting stormwater fees including the classification of the parcel, the amount of impervious area, the calculation of the stormwater utility fee, and granting of credits and incentives will be made by the Village's stormwater administrator.
These decisions may be appealed by submitting a written request to the Village Manager. Parcel owners may further appeal the decision of the Village Manager by submitting an application to the Stormwater & Floodplain Oversight Committee. Decisions by the Stormwater & Floodplain Oversight Committee are final.
Background/Stormwater Utility Model
Stormwater originates from rain or melting snow, or other activities involving outdoor water use such as car washing or hosing off the driveway or sidewalk. Water that does not soak into the ground becomes run-off. Every property generates run-off and benefits from the Village infrastructure system that manages stormwater.
The utility model represents an equitable method to collect revenue from those properties that place a demand on the system. Revenue is generated by charging all property owners a monthly stormwater fee, based on the property's impact to the stormwater system.
There are multiple benefits to implementing a fee based system:
- All properties in the Village share in the cost of operating and maintaining the stormwater system.
- Fees provide a predictable and sustainable funding source.
- A heightened sense of awareness of the stormwater management system is created.
- Property owners are encouraged to reduce the mount of run-off from their property by installing rain barrels, rain gardens and detention basins, and may be eligible for a credit to their stormwater fee.
Revenues generated by the fee will be allocated to the maintenance and operating costs of the stormwater infrastructure system, which consists of:
- Approximately 7,000 drainage structures
- 315 stormwater detention facilities
- 130 miles of storm sewer pipes
- 12 miles of streams
- 140 miles of roadway ditches
- 47,000 feet of culverts.
Prior to the Stormwater Utility, operating costs for the stormwater system were funded primarily through property taxes. Shifting the source of funding to a utility/fee based system will result in a reduction in the property tax levy by approximately $2.48 million, beginning with the 2012 levy (collected in 2013).