Stormwater Credit Policy Gets the Nod from City Council
Kitchener – A new stormwater credit program approved by Kitchener city council will offer incentives to property owners who actively decrease the volume of stormwater and pollution coming off their properties.
The proposed stormwater rate credit, which comes into effect Oct. 1, 2012 encourages private property owners to reduce total runoff and pollutants that leach into the stormwater management system, through already existing or proposed stormwater facilities or through best management practices.
Because the stormwater rate billing system needs to be modified and application forms created, those customers who are eligible for the credits will not see the adjustment until October. The eligible credits will be applied retroactively to Jan. 1, 2011, for all eligible property owners who apply before March 1, 2013.
“The stormwater credit policy is a strong environmental initiative that will help the community protect water resources for present and future generations,” said Grant Murphy, director of engineering services.
Two policies are included within the credit:
Non-residential and multi-residential property owners who pay the stormwater rate are eligible to apply for up to 45 per cent credit. Three components will be considered: flood prevention, pollution reduction and educational programs.
Residential property owners can also apply for up to 45 per cent credit, based on the volume of stormwater diverted from the municipal stormwater system from their property.
Since May 2011, the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have worked together to develop the stormwater credit policy as part of the shared services initiative. Public consultations were held to get feedback on five potential credit or rebate options.
In 2011, the City of Kitchener altered the funding approach of its stormwater program, moving it from the tax base to a user-pay system. The rate, based on the amount of impervious area on each property, creates dedicated, sustainable funding for costs associated with stormwater management (SWM). The more impervious area an individual property owner has, the greater the amount of runoff and pollutants from the property and, consequently, the greater the demand on the city’s SWM system.
The City of Kitchener has been recognized by both the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Good Roads Association for its industry-leading approach to delivering stormwater utility services.