Stormwater

Storm Water PondPurpose
The Village Board created a new utility to account for the costs related to the storm waters of the Village of Howard.

On September 27, 2004, the Village Board was presented two draft ordinances for storm water management and the creation of a new storm water utility. This meeting marked the first time the Village Board reviewed plans for a new utility. Board members expressed opinions on their desires to create (or not create) a utility that would keep track of all storm water related assets, such as storm sewers, ponds, equipment and curb and gutters, and maintain / operate those assets to meet the requirements of state and federal law.

Funding
The federal government created the need for more management of storm water through the enactment of a federal clean water act. The State of Wisconsin has been giving grant money to the village for the creation of a storm water management plan and installation of new detention ponds to help clean storm water run off before the water entered into natural streams and rivers.

With the acceptance of the grant money, the Village of Howard accepted responsibility for constructing and maintaining the new ponds along with other infrastructure and equipment needed to manage the storm water.

Storm Water Utility
The Board decided to create a storm water utility as it was the best way to:
  • Support storm water management operation
  • Allow all entities responsible for storm water runoff to pay for their share of the pollutants in the runoff
Prior to creation of the storm water utility, only taxable entities (residential and commercial properties) were paying for storm water costs. With the creation of the utility, tax exempt organizations will also be required to pay their share of the cost of the utility.

Equivalent Residential Units
Billings for the storm water utility will be added to the quarterly water and sanitary sewer billing beginning at the end of January 2005. Billings are based on equivalent residential units (ERUs) of impervious surface. One ERU is equal to 3,301-square-feet of impervious surface per parcel. For each home, business or non-profit organization, the ERUs are calculated to enable billing by the utility.

A rate study has been completed for the storm water utility to determine the ERU charge to be $13 / quarter. Some parcels will have more than one ERU and some will have less than one ERU. The ERU of 3,301-square-feet was derived by an average of all residential properties within the village.