City proposes utility fee to fund stormwater management

February 27, 2020

The City of Spruce Grove is proposing a utility fee to fund the management of its stormwater infrastructure to help ensure the system is adequately supported and remains in good working order.

The monthly stormwater utility fee, recommended to begin in May 2020, would help provide for the maintenance of the City’s stormwater network.

The City’s stormwater infrastructure includes roadways, ditches, storm sewers, storm sewer manholes, catch basins, stormwater ponds and other facilities, and helps control water runoff from rain and melted snow.

The system works together to protect water quality and reduce the risk of flooding that could cause property damage or be harmful to the environment.

In undeveloped natural areas, stormwater is absorbed by plants and soil, or finds its way back to ponds and streams. However, in urban centres, hard surfaces like sidewalks, paved areas and rooftops prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground naturally.

“With a growing number of people and businesses living and operating in Spruce Grove, the amount of stormwater runoff in our community is increasing,” says Mark Hussey, Director of Engineering with the City.

“That, coupled with weather fluctuations that result in heavy rains and rapidly melting snow, there is more stormwater entering the City’s stormwater network than ever before. This puts costly wear and tear on our infrastructure,” he says.

In order to minimize potential risks to residents, property and the environment, and avoid costly repairs in the future, the City has identified a need to secure dedicated funding to invest in its stormwater system. Over the next ten years, an estimated $37 million in planned capital projects is required.

To do this, the City has investigated a variety of solutions that would provide a fair and equitable source of funding to manage its stormwater services and is currently proposing a monthly stormwater utility fee to meet this need.

Timeline:

  • November 2018: Stormwater utility introduced as a funding model for stormwater management in the 2019-2021 Corporate Plan
  • February 18, 2020: Report on Stormwater Management presented at Committee of the Whole
  • February 24, 2020: First reading of Utility Bylaw Amendment
  • March 9, 2020: Non-statutory public hearing and second reading of the Utility Bylaw Amendment
  • March 23, 2020: Third reading of the Utility Bylaw Amendment
  • May 2020: Proposed fee appears on utility bill, applicable to the month of April

Learn more about our stormwater network and the proposed utility.