Stormwater Utility

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Public Works Stormwater Program

The City of Palm Bay is committed to protecting the community and its waterways through sound planning, construction, maintenance, and improvement of drainage and flood control systems. A Stormwater Utility makes this goal a reality, as well as allows the City to meet state and federally-mandated regulations for discharging stormwater.

What is a Stormwater Utility?

A Stormwater Utility is a special entity set up to provide funding that is used specifically for stormwater management. It is a dedicated service unit within the City government which provides revenues through fees for service (or user fees).

With a Stormwater Utility, users of the stormwater system pay for stormwater management in direct relation to the demand placed on the stormwater system by their parcel of land, not the taxable value of the parcel. The stormwater that flows off your property places a demand on a vast system of infrastructure which is costly for the City to operate and maintain. Stormwater must be channeled through a system of pipes, ditches, canals, ponds and other devices before it can be safely discharged into local rivers, lakes, and streams. User fees provided by the utility are placed into an enterprise fund, similar to a water or sewer utility, and are dedicated for use in the various aspects of stormwater management.

History

On August 17, 2010, the City Council adopted Ordinance 2010 implementing the Stormwater Utility establishing the rate per equivalent residential unit (ERU) by Resolution 2010-36. The Stormwater Utility Fee went into effect on October 1, 2010. Additionally on December 1, 2011 City Council enacted Ordinance 2011-62 amending Ordinance 2010-33. There are several credits available to home and business owners which are referenced in the Ordinance.

Due to aged and failing infrastructure and the importance of a healthy stormwater system (i.e. impact on safe school routes, emergency response times, emergency evacuation routes, water quality of the Indian River Lagoon, and daily traffic conditions), an audit of the Stormwater Program was performed by outside consultants, Government Services Group, to aid the City in determining the specific requirements the Program needs to address and the methodology driving the rate and collections of the service.

On May 18, 2017 the City Council adopted Resolution No 2017-19 changing the method for collecting Stormwater Utility Fees to a Stormwater Assessment Fee included on the tax bill. This change is estimated to increase the account collection rate by 22% as it creates a more significant accountability for vacant land owners. On July 6, 2017 the City Council established a maximum rate of 14.76 per  ERU by  Resolution No 2017-28, an increase from the previous ERU which will support the necessary infrastructure, maintenance and equipment needs to restore the health of the stormwater system.  

Stormwater Utility Credit

An Adjustment to a property's Utility Assessment Fee based upon the reduction to the city's operating cost of the stormwater management utility based upon a reduction in stormwater runoff discharged from the parcel due to use of a stormwater retention or detention system or other reduction pursuant to the City of Palm Bay Stormwater Utility Mitigation Credit Policy. 

A property with functioning on-site drainage facilities may receive a stormwater management system user fee credit upon the following conditions:

Detention Systems – A parcel is eligible for a thirty percent (30%) credit from the user fee confirmed by the Director when the owner demonstrates that stormwater discharge rate (flow) from a detention system after development is less than or equal to the before development rate (flow) of the parcel for a 25-year, 24-hours storm event, which equates to 9.5 inches of rainfall within a 24 hour period as defined by the appropriate Water Management District. The property owner must provide certification by a Florida licensed professional engineer that these requirements are met.

Extended Detention System – A parcel is eligible for an additional credit up to twenty percent (20%) when the owner demonstrates that stormwater discharge rate (flow) from a detention system after development is less than the before development rate (flow) of the parcel for a 25-year, 24-hours storm event, which equates to 9.5 inches of rainfall within a 24 hour period as defined by the appropriate Water Management District. (Credit is proportional to the percentage of runoff rate reduction achieved with a minimum fifty percent (50%) reduction in runoff rate needed to achieve a ten percent (10%) credit.)

Retention Systems – A parcel is eligible for a fifty percent (50%) credit from the user fee confirmed by the Director when the owner demonstrates that stormwater runoff is retained from a 25-year, 24-hours storm event, which equates to 9.5 inches of rainfall within a 24 hour period as defined by the appropriate Water Management District. The property owner must provide certification by a Florida licensed professional engineer that these requirements are met.

Extended Retention Systems – A parcel is eligible for a credit of up to one hundred percent (100%) of the amount of the user fee confirmed by the Director to be the percentage of stormwater runoff from a 100-year, 24-hour stormwater event (12.3 inches of rainfall within a 24 hour period), which is retained on the property (credit is directly proportional to volume of runoff retained. Credit would be given after retention for the 25-year, 24-hour storm is achieved).

A property that does not contribute stormwater (i.e., no stormwater discharges from the property) to the utility and is not otherwise benefited (has no stormwater runoff-does not use the stormwater system as they contain and treat all of their stormwater) by the utility shall be allowed a credit of one hundred percent (100%).

Property which is designated and delineated as wetlands, wetlands under conservation easements, or designated conservation lands shall be allowed a credit of one-hundred percent (100%) effective October 1, 2011. Credits that are granted shall only be retroactive to the effective date of October 1, 2011, but retroactive credit shall not exceed one (1) year. Submittal of wetlands delineation report is required to receive credit.

Please call 321-952-3437 option 5 for more information or to request an application to receive a stormwater utility credit.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

City of Palm Bay
Public Works Department
1050 Malabar Rd SW
Palm Bay, FL 32907

Customer Service
321-952-3437
Email Us