In 1999, City Council established a Stormwater Utility Fund supported by an assessment for the typical residential property. The charge to large, multi-unit properties, as well as commercial and industrial properties, is based on the size of each property. It is also based on the amount of impervious area that does not absorb runoff, including asphalt and concrete areas, as well as structures.
residential rate is $36 per year.
The program generates more than $2-million per year for projects to prevent localized flooding and to address environmental issues related to stormwater runoff as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II Program (NPDES).
Melbourne received its initial NPDES Permit July 16, 2003, for 5 years. The permit established strategies for reducing pollutants in the City's stormwater runoff and for improving water quality. The City is currently in the third cycle of the permit, valid until 2018.
The Indian River Lagoon Basin Management Master Plan was signed in February 2013 with established nutrient load reductions that Melbourne must meet by 2028. The reduction mandate is significant, and achieving the reductions will require many capital stormwater treatment projects. It is estimated that it will cost the City $196 million to achieve the current and anticipated mandated reductions. At the current level of annual funding this will be impossible. The City's Stormwater Quality Master Plan identifies 46 projects to be completed as a first step toward meeting the mandates. These projects alone are estimated to cost more than $20 million, and will take approximately 13 years to complete unless new funding becomes available. Additionally, other projects and programs will need to be identified and constructed to meet the mandated reductions.
The stormwater rate of assessment for non-exempt tax parcels is proposed to increase from $36 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) per year to $52/ERU for the 2014 and 2015 tax years. Beginning in the 2016 tax year, the rate will then increase to $64/ERU and will be a recurring annual assessment in subsequent tax years based on the 2016 rate. The minimum amount (for example, some undeveloped lands) is proposed to increase from $2.35 per year to $5 per year, beginning in 2014.
For the purposes of calculating stormwater assessments, one (1) ERU is based upon the average single family residence and is equivalent to 2,500 square feet of impervious area (hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and rooftops, that don't allow water to seep into the ground). All residential tax parcels are assigned one (1) ERU. Non-residential parcels are assigned ERUs by using an existing rate class formula based on land use and effective impervious area of the parcel. For more information on the Stormwater Utility and its projects, please call 321-608-7341.