[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vernon 9-6-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is found, determined and declared as follows:
The management of stormwater quality and other surface water discharges within the Town is a matter that affects the health, safety and welfare of the Town, its citizens and businesses.
Failure to effectively manage stormwater quality may create, among other things, erosion of lands, damage to homes and businesses, create sedimentation and environmental damages to waterways within the Town.
A system for the collection, conveyance, storage, treatment and disposal of stormwater provides services to all properties within the Town of Vernon and surrounding areas.
Failure to effectively manage stormwater contributes to the further degradation of the water quality in area water bodies.
In order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, the Town Board establishes a Stormwater Utility and authorizes the establishment of a fee in connection therewith.
The Town is acting under the authority contained in Chapters 60 and 66 of the Wisconsin Statutes and, in particular, §§ 66.0621, 66.0809, 66.0821, 66.0627 and 66.0827.
Those elements of the Stormwater Utility which provide for the management of stormwater and the improvement of stormwater quality are of benefit to all real property within the Town, including property not presently served by said Stormwater Utility.
The costs of operating and maintaining the Stormwater Utility and financing land acquisition, necessary repairs, replacement, improvements and extension thereof should, to the maximum extent practicable, be allocated in direct relationship to the contributions to the demand for stormwater management services.
The fees established herein bear a reasonable relationship to the service provided by the Town's Stormwater Utility.
The area of impervious surfaces on each property is the most important factor influencing the cost of the stormwater management services, systems and facilities provided by the Town of Vernon or to be provided by the Town of Vernon in the future, and the area of impervious surfaces on each property is therefore the most appropriate parameter for calculating a periodic Stormwater Utility fee.
The existence of privately owned and maintained on-site or off-site systems, facilities, activities or assets which significantly reduce or otherwise mitigate the impact of a particular property on the Town of Vernon's Stormwater Utility's cost of providing stormwater management services and/or stormwater management systems and facilities should be taken into account to reduce the Stormwater Utility fee on that property either in the form of a direct reduction or credit, and such reduction or credit should be conditional upon continuing provision of such services, systems, facilities, activities or assets in a manner complying with the standards and codes as determined by the Town Board and as set forth herein.
It is determined and declared to be necessary and conducive to the protection of the public health, safety, welfare and convenience of the Town to collect charges from all users of the Town stormwater collection system. The proceeds of such charges will be used to fund the management of its stormwater system of the Town to include reinvestment in the maintenance and improvement of existing infrastructures, and other improvements to the system that will reduce urban non-point source pollution in stormwater run-off consistent with federal and state regulations.
The Town Board of the Town of Vernon pursuant to the provisions of § 66.0827 of the Wisconsin Statutes does hereby declare that the stormwater management program of the Town of Vernon consisting of all facilities and services designed for the proper collection, conveyance, storage, treatment and disposal of stormwater shall be designated the "Stormwater Utility."
The operation, management and control of the Stormwater Utility is vested in the Town Board of the Town of Vernon. All records of the Stormwater Utility shall be kept by the Town Clerk in the Town Hall or other officially designated place.
The rules, regulations and rates hereinafter set forth shall be considered part of the regulations applicable to every property in the Town. Said rules, regulations and rates may be changed from time to time as determined by the Town Board, and the right is reserved to make special rates and contracts in all proper cases.
The Town Board shall place within the Vernon Stormwater Utility the responsibility for operation, maintenance and regulation of the existing stormwater management services, systems and facilities previously performed, owned and operated or maintained by the Town of Vernon, and other related assets, including, but not limited to, properties, other than road rights-of-way, upon which such stormwater management systems and facilities are located, easements, rights-of entry and access and certain equipment used solely for stormwater management. This responsibility shall be placed with the Vernon Stormwater Utility as the Town Board has determined that the Vernon Stormwater Utility has been sufficiently organized, staffed and funded adequately to carry out such responsibilities.
The cost of any convenience or public improvement provided by the Stormwater Utility and not paid for by special assessment shall be paid from the Stormwater Utility fund under Subsection E.
The fund of the Stormwater Utility District shall be provided by taxation of the property in the district, upon an annual estimate by the Town Chair, filed by October 1, which is to include all operation, education, capital improvements and maintenance costs, debt service and other costs related to the operation of the Stormwater Utility, divided into two categories: (1) Operation and Education; (2) Capital Improvements. Separate account shall be kept of each fund.
The costs shall be spread over the customer classifications as determined by the Town Board.
The Town Board shall cause an annual audit of the books of the Stormwater Utility to be made and shall make the books and records relating to the Stormwater Utility available for inspection during regular business hours.
Unless the chapter specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of terms used in this chapter shall be as follows:
- DEVELOPED PROPERTY
- Real property which has been altered from its natural state by the addition of any improvements, such as a building, structure or impervious surface.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A single unit or apartment providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.
- EQUIVALENT RUN-OFF UNIT (ERU)
- The statistical average amount of horizontal impervious area per single-family property of the 75 selected "single-family properties" within the Town on the date of adoption of this chapter. One ERU has been calculated to be an average of 6,904 square feet. The horizontal impervious area includes, but is not limited to, all areas covered by structures, roof extensions, patios, porches, driveways, and sidewalks.
- EXTENSION and REPLACEMENT
- All costs of extension, addition, and capital improvements to the system, the renewal and replacement of capital assets or purchase and installation of new equipment for the system, or land acquisition for the system, or any related costs thereto, or payment for extraordinary maintenance and repair, including the costs of construction, or any other expenses which are not costs of operation and maintenance.
- FISCAL YEAR
- A twelve-month period commencing on the first day of January of any year.
- IMPERVIOUS AREA or IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A horizontal surface which has been compacted or covered with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by rainwater. It includes, but is not limited to, semi-impervious surfaces such as compacted clay, gravel, as well as streets, roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, and other similar surfaces.
- MOBILE HOME
- A single residential unit (mobile home) within a mobile home park.
- A residential property with two or more dwelling units.
- Any developed property not used, primarily, as a permanent residence, such as an agricultural, commercial, industrial property or an institutional property (schools, churches, hospitals, fraternal organizations, parks, municipal facilities, etc.).
- OPERATING BUDGET
- Estimated revenues and the estimated costs for operations and maintenance, extension, and replacement of the system for each fiscal year.
- OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
- The current expenses, paid or accrued, of operation, maintenance, and current repair of the system, as calculated in accordance with sound accounting practice, and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, insurance premiums, administrative expenses, labor, executive compensation, the cost of materials and supplies used for current operations, and charges for the accumulation of appropriate reserves for current expenses not annually incurred, but which are such as may reasonably be in accordance with sound accounting practice.
- The user fee charged on each ERU. The rate is determined by the Town Board for each fiscal year.
- All rates, fees, assessments, rentals, fines or other charges or other income received by the Town in connection with the management and operation of the system, including amounts received from the investment or deposit of moneys in any fund or account, as herein required, and any amounts contributed by the Town, all as calculated in accordance with sound accounting practices.
- SINGLE-FAMILY or SINGLE-FAMILY PROPERTY
- A property with exactly one dwelling unit.
- STORMWATER SYSTEM or SYSTEM
- The existing stormwater collection system of the Town and all improvements thereto which by this chapter are constituted as the property and responsibility of the Town to be operated as an enterprise to, among other things, conserve water, control discharges necessitated by rainfall events, incorporate methods to collect, convey, store, absorb, inhibit, treat, use or reuse water to prevent or reduce flooding, over-drainage, environmental degradation and water pollution or otherwise affect the quality and quantity of discharge from such system.
- The Town of Vernon.
- TOWN BOARD
- The Town Board of the Town.
- UNDEVELOPED LAND
- Any real property with no impervious area and no quantifiable impact to the Town's stormwater system.
- USER FEE
- The charge established by the Town Board on developed property in the Town to pay for operations and maintenance, and extension and replacement for the stormwater system.
The user fees hereunder shall generate adequate annual revenues to pay costs for the construction need, operation and maintenance of current and future stormwater facilities, the cost of capital improvements to the Town stormwater system, street sweeping costs, water quality protection costs, NR216 stormwater permit costs, administrative costs, and all other costs and expenses related to stormwater management in the Town of Vernon.
Fiscal year-end balances in the account shall be carried over to the same account in the subsequent fiscal year and shall be used for these accounts. Moneys which have been transferred from other sources to meet temporary shortages in the Stormwater Utility shall be returned to their respective accounts upon appropriated adjustment of the user fee rates. The user fee rate shall be adjusted such that the transferred monies will be returned to their respective accounts within the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the monies were borrowed.
User fee. The Town Board shall require that adequate revenues are generated through user fees to provide for a balanced operating budget. The Town Board hereby authorizes the imposition of user fees on all developed property in the Town.
Rates. The Town Board will establish rates for each fiscal year. All rates established by the Town Board will be fair and reasonable and calculated to achieve a balanced operating budget for the system. Current rates will be on file in the office of the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer.
Rate schedule. For purposes of the imposition of the user fee, the developed property in the Town shall be divided into four classes, which shall be called "customer classes." The rate within each customer class shall be uniform. The rate schedule is as follows:
Minimum charge. The minimum ERU calculations for any customer other than undeveloped properties shall be not less than the rate of 1/2 of one ERU.
New construction. For all classifications other than single-family residential, the construction of new or expanded buildings, driveways or other structures shall be subject to an increase in the number of ERUs assigned to a lot or parcel. The Town shall recalculate the number of ERUs upon completion of new construction.
Bills for the user fee shall be rendered as part of the property tax bill for the property and become due and payable on the same date as the property tax bill. A penalty of 1% per month shall be added to bills not paid by the due date.
All user fees established hereunder shall be a lien upon the property served pursuant to §§ 66.0821(4)(d) and 66.0809(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes and shall be collected in the manner therein provided.
The Town Board shall set the ERU rate by separate resolution.
The Town Board shall adopt a system of stormwater utility credits and shall operate as follows. In general, no credit shall be given for the installation of stormwater management facilities required by the Town, Waukesha County, or state stormwater regulations.
Nonresidential properties which are not required to comply with § 200-11C, F and I of the Town's Code of Ordinances which take mitigating steps to improve the quality of stormwater discharge by implementing best management practices that reduce the average annual loading of total suspended solids from existing development by 40% or more and are designed and/or implemented in accordance with current Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources guidelines and have maintenance agreements in place with the Town of Vernon for the best management practice as applicable, may be eligible for a reduction of the annual user fee for that portion of the impervious area treated by best management practices. The reduction shall be determined on a case-by-case basis up to a maximum reduction of 50%.
Nonresidential properties or portions of properties with impervious surface areas that are internally drained may be eligible for a reduction of the annual user fee. The reduction shall be determined on a case-by-case basis up to a maximum reduction of 50%.
No credits shall be considered for any "natural" features such as, but not limited to, wetlands, lakes and floodplains or water impoundment of any kind in existence prior to passage of this chapter.
Requests for adjustment. Requests for adjustment of the user fee, including requests for Stormwater Utility credits, shall be submitted to the Town Chairman or designee, who is hereby given the authority to develop and administer the procedures and standards for the adjustment of fees as established herein. All requests shall be judged on the basis of the amount of impervious area on the site. Requests for adjustment shall be limited to nonresidential properties owners. However, the Town retains the right to grant stormwater user fee credits to individual properties within the Town that exhibit benefits to the stormwater management system. The following procedure shall apply to all adjustment requests of the user fee.
Any nonresidential customer who has paid a user fee and believes the user fee to be incorrect may, within 30 days of the payment and subject to the limitations set forth in this section, submit an adjustment request of the Town Chairman or designee.
Adjustment requests shall be in writing and set forth in detail the grounds upon which relief is sought.
The customer requesting the adjustments may be required, at his own expense, to provide supplemental information to the Town Chairman or designee, including, but not limited to, survey data approved by a registered land surveyor (R.L.S.) and engineering reports approved by a professional engineer (P.E.). Failure to provide such information may result in the denial of the adjustments request.
The Town Chairman or designee shall issue a written determination as to whether the request for adjustment shall be granted. For adjustments that are granted, a credit shall be applied to the customer's account. Denials of adjustment requests shall be made, in writing, by the Town Chairman or designee.
Upon receipt of the written denial of an adjustment request, the customer who initially requested the adjustment may, within 30 days of receipt of such denial, appeal to the Town Board.
The Town Board shall complete its review within 45 days of the receipt of said request for review. The Town Board determination shall be in writing and set forth in detail the reason or reasons for its decision.