New stormwater rates take effect

New stormwater rates take effect

Peoria City Council voted unanimously to increase stormwater fee rates for the next two fiscal years.

The city assesses a stormwater fee of $1.25 per month per residential living unit and $1.25 per utility billing account for nonresidential properties, city officials said.

On July 1, 2020, the fee will increase to $1.50.

These fees support the city’s stormwater program.

“Stormwater services include maintaining all the city’s catch basins, culverts, dry wells and major channels,” said Sonia Andrews, the city’s chief financial officer. “We inspect and resolve issues such as clogs, sediments, standing water, etc. In addition, stormwater services include maintaining the aesthetics such as landscaping and painting of rails and fences along major channels and culverts.”

The stormwater fee was established at 25 cents in 2005, increasing by 25 cents each subsequent year, according to the agenda. In 2008, the fee reached $1, where it remained for the past decade.

“The stormwater fee was not adjusted for many years as the city had fewer stormwater assets then, and other funding sources such as general fund dollars or general obligation bonds were available to assist with the stormwater program,” Andrews explained.

“As the city has grown, there are now more stormwater assets (catch basins, drywells, channels, culverts, etc.) to maintain, and we have also increased our maintenance standards, as well as there are higher expectations from our residents to maintain better aesthetics around the stormwater assets. These increases have necessitated an adjustment to the stormwater fee.”

The new rate adjustments will help set the program at cost recovery, according to the agenda.

“Fees are adjusted based on our financial projections,” Andrews said. “The city maintains five-year financial projections for our utilities, and these projections are updated every year, taking into account program needs, expenditure growth and reserve requirements. Based on our financial projections, we determine when new fees are needed.”

According to city documents, the adjustments will increase revenues associated with the stormwater program by $237,000 over the coming year, and $485,000 the following year.