Stormwater Management FAQs
1. What is the Stormwater Management Program and why is it important to Holly Springs?
Stormwater runoff is water from precipitation that isn’t absorbed into the ground. It runs off of impervious surfaces such as rooftops and driveways, often into the nearest creek, pond or lake, including Bass Lake, Sunset Lake and Harris Lake. This runoff isn’t treated before entering the body of water and can pick up and carry pollutants including oil and pesticides. Furthermore, the town’s stormwater program is aimed at reducing flooding to protect infrastructure, such as roadways, water and sewer lines, and properties.
2. Why is the town increasing fees?
Following the Town Council’s year-long review and analysis of the town’s stormwater program, two issues became apparent: 1) the town is significantly underfunding basic, growing stormwater infrastructure maintenance and repair needs, and 2) the current rate structure is drastically disproportionate to the stormwater contribution from properties with large impervious areas, primarily due to the current rate structure as it relates to non-residential/commercial properties. Adequate funding is necessary in order to ensure pollution prevention, proper drainage and flood control, to mitigate flooding and damage to public and private property.
3. How will these changes benefit the town?
Once the stormwater management program is adequately funded, work can begin to improve parts of the town that are dealing with aging infrastructure. Much of our community has drainage systems that are nearly 30 years old. Necessary repairs will decrease the likelihood of flooding and damage to property and roads. This is especially important since Holly Springs has been receiving more rainfall and more severe storms over the past few years.
4. What is the fee for residents?
As part of the FY2020-21 budget, starting January 1, 2021, residents will pay a flat fee of $5.20 per month.
5. What is the fee for businesses?
Under the current program, even our largest businesses in Holly Springs pay only $9 a month. Starting January 1, 2021, businesses will pay a fee directly related to how much impervious surface they occupy. Impervious surfaces are surfaces that allow little or no stormwater infiltration into the ground. When rainwater washes over impervious surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots and roads, it collects and carries pollutants that flow into waterways, and can also contribute to flooding issues. Fees will be assessed through a best practices approach known as Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).
As stated above, the current rate structure is drastically disproportionate to the stormwater contribution from properties with large impervious areas. An ERU approach establishes a fair and equitable fee across small and large businesses based on their stormwater runoff impact. While the Town understands that these changes are a significant departure from the current fee structure, they are integral to the Town’s responsibility to move into a mode in which storm drainage infrastructure and surface water quality are treated as assets to be routinely inspected, managed and maintained, not unlike the Town’s drinking water and sanitary sewer systems. As always, the Town encourages feedback and questions:
Holly Springs Environmental Specialist Daniel Colavito
|Rate Structure||Single family residential property||Non-single family residence with 8,000sf impervious area||Non-single family residence with 40,000sf impervious area||Non-single family residence with 100,000sf impervious area|
|Effective Jan. 1, 2021||$5.20||$15.60||$72.80||$182|
|Sample: gas station||Sample: bank||Sample: large store and parking lot|
6. Why start the increase January 2021 instead of July 2021?
In order to be sensitive to the economic impacts associated with COVID-19, the fee implementation will not start until January 1. Delaying the increase until January 2021 will give residents and businesses time to prepare and plan for this change, as well as allow the town to engage residents and businesses regarding the changes.
7. How does 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 total 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.
8. Do other municipalities charge Stormwater fees and how does Holly Springs compare?
Many communities charge Stormwater Management Program fees in a similar manner to the planned changes in Holly Springs. Staff analyzed various communities of our size across the state to help determine best practices and approaches to updating the town’s stormwater program.
9. Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you have any questions about the new fee structure, please contact Holly Springs Environmental Specialist Daniel Colavito. He can be reached at email@example.com or (919) 567-4027.