The Stormwater Task Force was created by City Council in October 2019. View the charter here. This original charter called for updating the list of priority projects for stormwater improvements in the adopted Watershed Management Plan. The final report was presented to City Council in November 2020; read that document here, and a summary below.
The City Council adopted the City’s Watershed Management Plan (WMP) in February 2012. This Plan sets out citywide goals and policies with respect to streams, groundwater, and the stormwater system. Section 5 of this Plan prioritizes stormwater improvement projects to mitigate flood damage, repair and replace stormwater infrastructure, and comply with federal mandates to improve water quality that flows into City streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Many of those projects are now complete.
In 2017 through 2019, the City experienced heavy rains that resulted in extensive flooding and damage to property. Climate scientists predict that our warming climate will result in more frequent extreme weather events, including heavy rainfall.
Also, the WMP was created in 2012, and many of the projects listed are now complete. It is time to reassess the project list.
The group will focus on helping the City as a whole improve the impact of heavy rain for all residents. The report presented to City Council as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Capital Improvements Program will prioritize projects in order of the most cost-effective stormwater improvements that will protect the most people.
The City Council will have the final say on funding the improvements. Stormwater projects are expensive, and staff anticipates that in order to proceed, bonds will need to be issued by the City. The debt service on these bonds would be covered by an increase to the Stormwater Utility Fee. These important financing decisions will be made in the context of budget adoption in April 2020.
The information and drawings contained in this section are based on conceptual and preliminary technical and cost data. All information is subject to change as additional study, design and cost estimates are prepared.