While stormwater utility fees may seem to many like the kind of program that only densly populated cities and areas highly concentrated with impervious land (paved roadways, parking lots and building sites), Albemarle County has joined other localities in Virginia that have a variety of development densities and is looking further into such a fee as a way to maintain current stormwater programs as well as planning for regulatory compliance.
Cities including Charlottesville have recently adopted stormwater utility fees to help pay for necessary maintenance and improvement of existing stormwater infrastructure. In the case of urban areas like Charlottesville, this fee is intended to pay for repairs and replacement of infrastructure including damaged/deteriorating stormwater pipes, culverts, maintenace of stormwater management facilities (often referred to as BMPs), curb and gutter, inlets, drainage improvements and other programs. So why are counties like Albemarle looking to a stormwater utility fee? Like many localities across the Commonwealth and the nation, funding programs for infrastructure and regulatory compliance has not been able to keep up with projected expenses, so localities are seeking out a fair way to meet current needs and plan for the future. This is especially important with respect to stormwater as localities also seek to protect the environment and watershed including rivers, creeks and streams affected by stormwater runoff.
Read more about Albemarle County’s considerations of the stormwater utility fee from this week’s Daily Progress article below.