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When property is improved through buildings, pavement, or trafficked gravel, water is prevented or retarded from getting into the soil. These areas where water cannot get back into the soil are termed "impervious surfaces" because they restrict natural infiltration and increase runoff from the property.
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Storm water refers to the surface water that is the result of heavy rain or snowfall. The water that results from heavy rain or snow melting must be drained properly in order to control flooding and prevent pollution, and the City is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the City's storm water drainage system.
There are two main reasons:First, additional revenue is needed for storm water operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required that Monroe, and over 400 other municipalities in Ohio, to improve storm water operations in order to prevent pollution and improve storm water quality. Second, dedicated revenue is needed in order for the City to maintain and improve the storm sewer system.
A major storm water quality concern is "non-point source pollution". As the name implies, non-point source pollution comes from numerous locations and is carried through water runoff. The types of pollutants include toxins, metals, oils, nutrients, and fecal coliform bacteria from septic systems, leaking sanitary sewers, farm animals, and pets. These directly impact water quality and now represent a large percentage of the pollution picture. Street sweeping, elimination of septic flows and leaking sanitary sewers, and increased cleaning of storm drains can control these pollutants.
Please see our utility rate page for more information on current storm water rates.
Storm water charges are based on the amount of impervious area that is located on the property. Impervious area is the best indicator of how much that particular property will use the storm water system. The City of Monroe currently charges a single, flat rate for all residential properties. Commercial and industrial properties are charged based on a tiered rate structure. The rate tier for commercial and industrial storm water charges is determined by the approximate impervious area of the property.
Impervious area on non-residential properties was measured from recent aerial photos with the actual measurement done via computer imaging. This produces a high degree of accuracy.
No. There will be a recurring monthly fee for the development of new storm water operations, control facilities, their maintenance and water quality compliance.
The storm water fee will appear on your monthly utility bill.
All developed properties within the City will pay the monthly storm water service fee. This includes properties with houses, schools, public facilities, churches and businesses.
Once the impervious area-based rate structure is in place, there will be a review process. It will include a review of the accuracy of the City's impervious surface measurements and the calculation of the service fee.
Currently the storm water charges raise approximately $140,000 annually; however, the City requires far more revenue for storm water than what is currently collected. The storm water program is intended to fund capital improvements, operations, maintenance, development review, administrative services, field inspection and regulatory compliance.
The service charge, just like water and sewer fees, is based upon the cost of services provided. The storm water charge is not the same as a tax, but rather, the storm water fees are billed to all customers who receive the service. Churches and schools contribute a significant amount of runoff to the City because of their size and amount of impervious surface; therefore, these entities will be treated like all other customers under the rate structure.
For commercial or industrial property owners, the IRS may consider the storm water charge as being a cost of doing business; however, this depends on each specific tax situation. Residential property owners will likely not be able to deduct the storm water fee on their taxes.
Currently there are no plans to offer a credit or reduction program for storm water.
The storm water charge is not a tax, but a user fee. A public vote is not required to impose a user fee. The City Council has reviewed a number of options for funding storm water management. Ordinance 2003-25 was presented in two readings for approval to Council and went into effect September 25, 2003.
Unpaid charges may be assessed to property taxes, or referred to a collection agency.
Some of the other important components of this program include:
Property taxes are based upon the assessed valuation of land and their improvements. These values have little relationship to an individual property's use of the storm drainage system. A service fee is a more equitable method of funding the program.
No. Every developer is required to provide the drainage improvements necessary to handle the runoff generated by that development. Developers must also pay an impact fee or construct an equivalent portion of the City's storm drain system to relieve the impact of the new development on the overall system. All impervious area created by these new developments will be included within the storm water utility and will pay the service fee just as everyone else in the City.
Under most conditions, the storm water charge will go to whoever pays the water bill for the property.
Parking spaces are based on standard estimates of traffic and need, and are necessary requirements of doing business.
Your property may not be physically connected to the drainage system in the same manner as water or sewer, but you are still provided with storm water service. The City's storm water program improves and maintains the upstream storm water facilities that protect your property. They establish design criteria, and regulate development that helps control off site storm water problems. This program is taking steps to reduce storm water pollutants that degrade our culinary water quality and the environment of the City. Every property owner in Monroe is served by these activities.
Yes. There are many storm water utilities in large and small communities throughout the nation, with many more in the planning stages. Locally, the following localities have implemented or will soon implement fees for storm water management:
Under law, storm water fees may not exceed the cost of providing storm water improvements and services. Your fees will go into an "enterprise" or special fund that will be used only for the storm water program. Professional auditors, to ensure compliance, will audit this fund annually.
Please contact our Public Works Department at 513-539-7374 or email us, and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.
233 S Main Street
P.O. Box 330
Monroe, OH 45050-0330