Following Council's affirmative vote to implement a city-wide stormwater utility on Monday, October 9, Newark became just the third city in Delaware to enact the progressive measure. The utility charge is expected to raise $1.4 million each year and will be used to improve the City's stormwater system.
"The dedicated, stable funding provided by the charge will allow us to implement a predictable operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation plan in order to help maintain our stormwater infrastructure and address water quality issues throughout the City of Newark," said acting Public Works and Water Resources director Tim Filasky. "We are grateful to Mayor and Council for their support."
The City has already made significant investments into stormwater related infrastructure and water quality permit compliance; however, the system requires ongoing maintenance, repair, enhancements and replacement to meet existing and future needs, including flood mitigation and water quality protection.
Beginning January 1, 2018, residents will pay between $1.77 and $5.31 each month, depending on which tier their property falls into. The four tiers are based on each residential parcel's impervious area. An interactive online map to determine which tier a residential property falls into is available HERE.
Non-residential parcels will be subject to a rate of $2.95 per Equivalent Stormwater Unit (ESU) per month. An ESU is equal to 1,620 square feet of effective impervious.
The City currently recovers all of the stormwater management costs through water charges, without any consideration of a parcel's contribution of runoff and pollution to the City's stormwater system. Using impervious area as the basis for assessing the stormwater charge will increase fairness in cost recovery.
In conjunction with the stormwater charge, the City established a grant program for residential customers that offers rain barrels, design service support and stormwater project cost sharing. The program also provides non-residential property owners an opportunity to reduce their monthly stormwater charge up to 25% by recognizing efforts that go beyond the City's current stormwater management requirements.
More information on the stormwater utility and the City's comprehensive stormwater program is available online.