[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Two Rivers (Title 5, Ch. 7, of the 1981 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Two Rivers finds that the management of stormwater and other surface water discharge within and beyond Lake Michigan, West Twin River, East Twin River, and Molash Creek (the "City's Waterways") is a matter that affects the health, safety and welfare of the City, its citizens and businesses, and others in the surrounding area. Failure to effectively manage stormwater affects the sanitary sewer utility operations of the City by, among other things, increasing likelihood of infiltration and inflow in the sanitary sewer. In addition, surface water runoff may create erosion of lands, threaten businesses and residences with water damage, and create sedimentation and other environmental damage in the City's waterways. Those elements of the system that provide for collection, conveyance, flood control, pollutant control, and volume reduction of stormwater and regulation of groundwater are of benefit and provide services to all properties within the City of Two Rivers, including property not presently served by the stormwater elements of the system. The cost of operating and maintaining the stormwater management system and financing necessary repairs, replacements, improvements and extensions thereof should, to the extent practicable, be allocated to the benefits enjoyed and services received therefrom.
There is hereby established a City of Two Rivers Stormwater Utility. The operation of the Stormwater Utility shall be under the supervision of the City Council. The City of Two Rivers Director of Public Works shall be in charge of the Stormwater Utility.
The City, through the Stormwater Utility, may acquire, construct, lease, own, operate, maintain, extend, expand, replace, clean, dredge, repair, conduct, manage and finance such real estate and facilities as are deemed by the City to be proper and reasonably necessary for a system of stormwater and surface water management. These facilities may include, without limitation by enumeration, surface and underground drainage facilities, sewers, watercourses, retaining walls and ponds, flood-control facilities, best management practices, and such other facilities as will support a stormwater management system.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply. Words used in the singular shall include the plural, and in the plural, the singular; words used in the present tense shall include the future tense; the word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary; the word "may" is permissive. Terms not specifically defined herein shall have the meanings defined in Ch. NR 216.002, Wis. Adm. Code, and as the same may be amended from time to time, if defined therein; or if not therein defined, shall be construed to have the meaning given by common and ordinary use, as defined in the latest edition of Webster's Dictionary.
- DEVELOPED PROPERTY
- The real property that has been altered from its natural state by the addition of any improvements, that may include a building, structure, impervious surface, and change in grade or landscaping.
- The City of Two Rivers Director of Public Works, or his/her designee.
- DUPLEX UNIT
- Any residential space identified for habitation by members of the same household attached to only one other residential space or as classified by Chapter 10-1, Zoning Code, and Chapter 11-1, Building Code.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any residential space identified for habitation by members of the same household or as classified by Chapter 10-1, Zoning Code, and Chapter 11-1, Building Code. A dwelling unit includes, but is not limited to, single-family homes, manufactured homes, duplexes, multifamily apartments, residential condominiums and townhouse living units.
- EQUIVALENT RUNOFF UNIT (ERU)
- The statistical average horizontal impervious area of single-family residential properties within the City of Two Rivers on the date of adoption of this chapter. The horizontal impervious area includes, but is not limited to, all areas covered by structures, roof extensions, patios, porches, driveways and sidewalks.
- IMPERVIOUS AREA or IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- Areas that have been paved, covered or compacted to inhibit the natural infiltration of water into the soil or cause water to run off the area in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from the present under natural conditions as undeveloped property. Such areas may include, but are not limited to, roofs, roof extensions, patios, porches, driveways, sidewalks, pavement, gravel, athletic courts and compacted surfaces. Excluded from this definition are undisturbed land, lawn and fields.
- NONRESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any developed lot or parcel not exclusively residential, as defined herein, including but not limited to transient rentals (such as hotels and motels), mobile home parks, commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental property and parking lots.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any lot or parcel developed exclusively for residential purposes, including but not limited to single-family homes, manufactured homes, duplexes, multifamily apartments, residential condominiums and townhouse living units.
- The surface water, including rain and snow melt, which is inhibited by impervious surfaces from naturally infiltrating into soil.
- STORMWATER FACILITIES
- All constructed facilities or natural features used for collecting, conveying, storing, reducing and treating stormwater to, through and from drainage areas to the point of final outlet. Stormwater facilities collectively constitute a stormwater system.
- UNDEVELOPED PROPERTY
- That which has not been altered from its natural state by the addition of any improvements, such as a building, structure, impervious surface, change of grade or landscaping. For new construction, a property shall be considered developed pursuant to this chapter at the time of water meter installation or upon review of the actual impervious area by January 1.
By this chapter, the City Council is establishing the rate charge upon each lot and parcel within the City of Two Rivers for services and facilities provided by the Stormwater Utility. The actual charges to be imposed, the establishment of formulas for calculations of the charges, the establishment of specific customer classifications and any future changes in those rates, formulas, rate charges and customer classifications may be made by resolution. All rates established pursuant to this chapter will be fair and reasonable in accordance with the decision and judgment of the City Council. The current rates will be on file with the City Clerk.
Rate charges shall be used to share the costs of the Stormwater Utility. These rate charges may include:
Base charge (BC). The base charge may be imposed on all property in the City. The base charge will be designed to reflect the fact that all properties benefit from the stormwater management activities of the City and that all properties contribute in some way to the stormwater discharge that must be managed by the City. The BC will be designed to collect the administrative costs not covered by special assessment. The BC may be based upon the size of the parcel of property.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Title 1, General Provisions, Ch. 1-1, Art. III)]
Equivalent runoff unit charge (ERU). This charge shall be imposed on all property that has any developed impervious area. The ERU will be designed on the basis of a typical single-family residential property. Each residential and nonresidential property will be charged multiples of the ERU, based upon the impervious area contributing to stormwater runoff.
Special charge (SC). This charge may be imposed on property that is in an area specifically benefitted by a particular stormwater management facility. The SC will be developed to reflect the benefits/services in a particular area that may not be appropriate to spread to property throughout the City. The SC will be calculated on an ERU basis.
The City Council may make such other customer classifications as will be likely to provide reasonable and fair distribution of the costs of the Stormwater Utility. In so doing, the City Council may provide credits against certain of the charges set forth above for facilities installed and maintained by the property owner for the purpose of lessening the stormwater flow or pollutant load from that given property.
The City's Department of Finance is hereby appointed as the collection agency for the City of Two Rivers Stormwater Utility. Bills shall be prepared by the City or its agent and sent to the owner of each premises served. The City shall allocate the actual cost of billing and collecting.
The bills for Stormwater Utility charges shall be mailed to the owner of each developed property; provided, however, that the owner of any property containing one or more rental units (whether residential or nonresidential in nature) may, in writing, direct that the City direct such bills to the designated utility bill recipients for such property; provided, however, such direction shall not relieve the owner of the property from liability for rental property in the event payment is not made as required in this article. The owner of any property served which is occupied by tenants shall have the right to examine collection records of the City for the purpose of determining whether such rates and charges have been paid for such tenants, provided that such examination shall be made at the office at which the records are kept and during the hours that such office is open for business.
Stormwater Utility charges shall not be payable in installments. If Stormwater Utility charges remain unpaid after a period of 20 days from the date of utility bill, such bill shall become a delinquent special charge and shall become a lien as provided in §§ 66.0809 and 66.0821, Wis. Stats. Said charges shall automatically be extended upon the current or next tax as a delinquent tax against the property, and all proceedings in relation to the collection, return and sale of property for delinquent real estate taxes shall apply to such special charges. Unpaid charges shall be assessed the same as the water utility bills.
All delinquent charges shall be subject to a 10% penalty in addition to all other charges and prior penalties or interest when the delinquent charge is extended upon the tax roll.
The Director of Public Works shall prepare a list of lots and parcels within the City of Two Rivers and assign a classification of residential, nonresidential or undeveloped to each lot or parcel.
The average square footage of impervious area of the ERU is established to be equivalent to 3,015 square feet.
The charges imposed for single-family residential properties shall be the rate for one ERU.
The charges imposed for duplex residential properties shall be the rate for 0.5 of one ERU per each individual dwelling unit existing on the property (ERU rate multiplied by the number of dwelling units).
The charges imposed for multifamily apartment, condominium and townhouse residential properties shall be the same as nonresidential properties.
The charges imposed for nonresidential properties shall be the rate for one ERU, multiplied by the numerical factor obtained by dividing the total impervious area of nonresidential property by the square footage of one ERU. The numerical factor shall be rounded down to the nearest 0.1, i.e.:
No charge shall be imposed for undeveloped properties.
The Director of Public Works shall be responsible for determining the impervious area, based upon the best available information, including, but not limited to, data supplied by the Building Inspector, aerial photography, the property owner, tenant or developer. The Director of Public Works may require additional information, as necessary, to make the determination. The billing amount shall be updated by the Director of Public Works on any additions to the impervious area. Upon property owner's written notification and request, the Director of Public Works shall review the impervious area for possible reductions.
The minimum charge for any developed parcel shall be equal to 1.0 ERU.
The owner shall also be liable for stormwater charges, under this chapter, for the improvement from the date of water meter installation or upon review of the actual impervious area by January of the year immediately following the installation.
The Stormwater Utility charge may be appealed as follows:
A written appeal shall be filed with the Director of Public Works prior to the utility charge due date; or
Within 30 days of payment, a written challenge to the stormwater charge must be filed with the Director of Public Works on behalf of the customer, specifying all bases for the challenge and the amount of the stormwater charge the customer asserts is appropriate. Failure to file a challenge within 30 days of payment waives all right to later challenge the charge.
A property owner not satisfied with the decision by the Director of Public Works can appeal to the City Council for its review and action.
Following review by the Director of Public Works, the City Council will determine whether the stormwater charge is fair and reasonable, or whether a refund is due to the customer. The City Council may act with or without a hearing and will inform the customer, in writing, of its decision.
If the City Council determines that a refund is due to the customer, the refund will be applied as a credit on the customer's next stormwater billing if the refund will not exceed the customer's next stormwater billing or will be refunded, at the discretion of the Director of Finance, without interest.
In addition to any other method for collection of the charges established pursuant to this chapter for Stormwater Utility costs, the City Council finds that these charges may be levied on property as a special charge pursuant to § 66.0627, Wis. Stats. The charges established hereunder reasonably reflect the benefits conferred on property and may be assessed as special charges. The mailing of the bill for such charges to the owner will serve as notice to the owner that failure to pay the charges when due may result in them being charged pursuant to the authority of § 66.0627, Wis. Stats. In addition, the City may provide notice each October of any unpaid charges to the Stormwater Utility, which charges, if not paid by November 15, may be placed on the tax roll under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.
The Stormwater Utility finances shall be accounted for in a separate Stormwater Management Fund by the City. The Utility shall prepare an annual budget, which is to include all operation and maintenance costs, administrative costs, depreciation costs, debt service and other costs related to the operation of the Stormwater Utility. The budget is subject to approval by the City Council. The costs shall be spread over the rate classifications as determined by the City Council. Any excess of revenues over expenditures in a year will be retained by the Stormwater Management Fund for subsequent years' needs.
If a court of competent jurisdiction judges any section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of this chapter shall remain in force and not be affected by such judgment.
This chapter shall be in force and effect beginning August 1, 2014.