December 18, 2014

Stormwater user fee set by town

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Stormwater coordinator hired

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

As the town looks to meet state and federal stormwater management requirements, it has set a new municipal fee to help pay for the cost of upgrades.

On Monday, the Williston Selectboard set a monthly rate of $4.25 per Equivalent Residential Unit. That would mean an annual fee of $51 per Williston household.

An Equivalent Residential Unit, or ERU, is the median area of impervious surface of single-family residence properties in town. Most properties with single-family homes will be billed for one ERU. Single-family homeowners whose property has an impervious surface area in the top 10th percentile of all Williston properties will be billed for two ERUs. The only exempt properties would be undeveloped properties—any property with an impervious surface area of less than 500 square feet.

Fees for non-single family residences, such as businesses, would be calculated using a tier system based on the amount of impervious surface on the property.

An impervious surface is any surface from which rain would run off—roofs, paved or gravel driveways, decks or patios.

The fee will go into effect January 2015 and residents will be billed quarterly. In April, the board approved the ordinance to establish a fee.

The board also looked at a user fee credit manual, but held off on making a decision until its next meeting, scheduled for September.

The system would offer credits for those taking ongoing actions to reduce the use of the public stormwater system or the town’s cost of service.

Credits are only available to non-single family home properties, but can apply to homeowner’s associations. An MS4 credit will be available to municipal separate storm sewer systems, known as MS4s, that must comply with updated permit requirements.

A water education credit will also be available to Williston schools that “educate and inform their students about the importance of local surface and groundwater resources and how they can be protected,” according to the manual.

Credit applications are available through the Williston Public Works Department.

TOWN HIRES STORMWATER COORDINATOR

The town recently hired a stormwater coordinator to oversee the town’s stormwater management efforts. Town Manager Rick McGuire said the town finalized the appointment last week.

James Sherrard, currently a hydrologist with the Water Resources Department of the Cape Cod Commission, is set to begin Sept. 15. Sherrard has a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering with a concentration in hydrology, water resources and stormwater from the University of New Hampshire.

McGuire said Sherrard was selected from a group of three finalists.

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