Stormwater Management Program Fee

Holly Springs Stormwater ManagementFrequently Asked Questions

These FAQs answer questions about Holly Springs’ Stormwater Management Program and fee.

1. What is the Stormwater Management Program, and why is it important?
2. How much is the fee?
3. What does this fee fund?
4. How does the billing work?
5. Why is this fee being charged?
6. Do other municipalities charge Stormwater Management Program fees?
7. Do churches, schools and non-profit organizations have to pay the fee?
8. Why is the Town charging a fee instead of increasing taxes?
9. I have to maintain and operate a stormwater management device on my property. Can I get credits to reduce my Stormwater Management Program Fee?
10. Will the Town maintain the stormwater management areas on my property?
11. Who can I contact for more information?

1. What is the Stormwater Management Program, and why is it important?

Stormwater runoff is water from precipitation that isn’t absorbed into the ground. It “runs off,” often into the nearest creek, pond or lake. This runoff isn’t treated before entering the body of water and can pick up and carry pollutants including oil and pesticides.

The Town’s Stormwater Management Program works to protect the quality of stormwater runoff and, ultimately, the quality of our creeks, streams and lakes, including Bass Lake, Sunset Lake and Harris Lake. The program ensures that the Town complies with the requirements of an unfunded federal mandate by requiring inspections and maintenance of stormwater retention areas, providing response to stormwater complaints, enforcing penalties against illicit discharges, providing outreach to residents and businesses to help prevent pollution, and more.

The program also helps facilitate regional stormwater treatment areas, like the Mims stormwater retention pond, which is planned for downtown Holly Springs to both prevent flooding and reduce water pollution.

2. How much is the fee?

For residents
The fee is $3 a month for residents within Holly Springs Town limits.

For non-residential properties and businesses
The monthly fee for non-residential properties and/or businesses within the Holly Springs town limits is based on the amount of impervious area on each property and/or business. Impervious area includes buildings, parking lots, tennis courts, gravel trails - surfaces through which rainwater cannot be absorbed easily into the ground. The Town has calculated the square footage of impervious surface for each non-residential property and business, then categorized those properties into three tiers - small, medium, and large. The fee for each tier is shown below.

Tier Impervious Area
(square feet)
Monthly Fee
Small Non-Residential 10,000 and less $3
Medium Non-Residential 10,001 to 75,000 $6
Large Non-Residential 75,001 and more $9

*Properties that are not part of a larger development and contain less than 600 square feet of impervious surface are exempt from the fee.

3. What does this fee fund?
The fee helps fund programs and facilities that ensure stormwater flowing to Bass, Sunset and Harris lakes is free of pollution. This involves multiple efforts that include:

-Illicit discharge detection and elimination: An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing of or dumping anything into the storm drain system. Examples include paint or oil being poured into a storm drain and yard waste being discarded in or near a storm drain. The Town investigates reports of illicit discharges and works to make sure people are aware that storm drains flow directly to waterways.

-Runoff control: The Town enforces regulations controlling erosion and sedimentation from construction sites and also from established developments.

-Pollution prevention and good housekeeping: This includes keeping our wastewater treatment plant in good working order and building regional stormwater treatment areas, like the Mims stormwater retention pond planned for downtown Holly Springs.

-Public education, outreach and involvement: By letting residents know that stormwater drains flow directly to creeks, that pet waste left on the ground can negatively impact the environment, and more, we’re discouraging pollution.

Ultimately, we want stormwater to be clean and unaffected by pollution from runoff. For more information on state and federal stormwater requirements, click here.

4. How does the billing work?

For residential properties: The fee appears as a new charge on each monthly water bill.

For non-residential properties: If you have a water meter, the fee appears as a new charge on each monthly water bill.

If you share a meter with other businesses, a totalized fee for all businesses sharing the meter appears on each monthly water bill.

If you do not have - or share - a water meter for your property, you receive a stand-alone new monthly Stormwater Program Management bill.

If you own or lease more than one business or property, you may receive multiple bills - one for each business or property.

If you own a property that contains no impervious area, you will not be charged a fee.

5. Why is this fee being charged?

The fee helps fund the Town’s existing Stormwater Management Program that makes sure the Town complies with an unfunded federal mandate. The program initially was funded out of the Town's water and sewer reserve funds, which typically pay for projects the Town needs to function and thrive - projects like building and repairing water and sewer lines, expanding the wastewater treatment plant, and buying drinking water capacity.

The Stormwater Management Program has been in place since 2005, when the Town received its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Phase II Permit from the state government. The costs of the program became well known and proven over the past six years, so that a fee could be calculated. The program costs the Town approximately $600,000 annually. The fee defrays a portion of these costs.

6. Do other municipalities charge Stormwater Management Program fees?

Yes, about 1 in every 10 towns in North Carolina, and six in Wake County, charge a stormwater management program fee. More communities are pursuing implementation of a fee.

7. Do churches, schools and non-profit organizations have to pay the fee?

Yes. Churches, schools and non-profit organizations pay the fee. The Town provides stormwater management services to all properties.

8. Why is the Town charging a fee instead of increasing taxes?

Taxes generally are charged to raise revenue. User fees are for specific services and are used to fund Town programs including water, sewer and solid waste. The Town provides stormwater management services to all improved properties to ensure the Town complies with the federal permit required by the Clean Water Act. The fee is considered a user fee applicable to any property that has been improved by placing impermeable material on the property.

9. I have to maintain and operate a stormwater management device on my property. Can I get credits to reduce my Stormwater Management Program Fee?

Because the Town still has to provide town-wide stormwater services required by the NPDES permit, credits are not available.

10. Will the Town maintain the stormwater management areas on my property?

The Town does not provide services to construct, maintain or repair stormwater management areas on private property. That would raise the cost of the Stormwater Management Program even more.

11. Who can I contact for more information?

Contact the Environmental Services and Stormwater Management staff with the Town of Holly Springs Engineering Department at (919) 567-4011 or at stormwater@hollyspringsnc.us. Please also feel free to suggest more questions to add to this list of FAQs.