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Stormwater Management Fees Could Be Raised

Additional funds needed to comply with Chesapeake Bay mandates and additional needs.

Stormwater management fees in Prince William County could be going up.

But, the good thing is, a fee raise would put the county closer to being in line with pollution-reducing Chesapeake Bay mandates.

Public Works department presentation to the Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday highlighted the need for a stormwater fee increase, which included needing new staffing, new drainage systems, watershed studies, stream assessments and restorations, dam safety, a floodplain program and Capital Improvement Project funding. 

Additional funding is also needed to keep the county in line with goals for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL aims to put the area on a “pollution diet” by reducing 185.9 million pounds of nitrogen, 12.5 million pounds of phosphorus and 6.45 billion pounds of sediment per year across several states.

Prince William County has to comply with the TMDL requirements over a 15-year period. 

According to county documents, the current stormwater management fee for Prince William County is $26.36 for a single family home, $17.78 for multi-family unit or townhouse and $12.80 per 1,000-square-feet for non-residential units.

If the board approves a fee increase, it will add roughly $10 to the fee in 2013, with a $1 increase per year over the next four years. The additional fee increase in fiscal year 2014 and beyond is an estimated three percent per year inflation adjustment, according to the county presentation.

For 2013 a fee increase would look like this:
Single family homes: $36.10
Townhomes: $27.10
Non-residential: $17.54 per 1,000-square-feet. 

A public hearing on the fee increase will be held Tuesday, April 10 and the board will consider the adoption of a stormwater management fee increase on April 24, 2012. If approved, the fee would be effective July 1, 2012.

The Prince William Conservation Alliance will be holding eight stream steward lectures in the coming months to help residents better understand streams, trees and flooding in the county. 

“Our first workshop, March 25, is a field tour to two streams in Woodbridge that will be stabilized if/when the stormwater fee increase is approved,” wrote executive director of the Prince William Conservation Alliance Kim Hosen in an email.

Clay Morris will host the “One Stream at a Time” tour, an environmental engineer with the Prince William County Environmental Services-Watershed Management at 2440 Prince William Parkway on March 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. Occoquan district supervisor Mike May will make opening remarks and then a field trip will follow.

“This field trip highlights two streams in developed areas, both high priority restoration candidates, and considers restoration needs associated with the Chesapeake Bay clean up,” reads the tour’s description.

For more information on the stream steward lectures, visit the Prince William Conservation Alliance website.

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