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On June 12, 2023, City Council adopted Ordinance No. 4882 which established a Stormwater Drainage System Utility and grants the City authority to collect user fees for stormwater drainage system services and, like all other utilities, user fees are set by resolution of the City Council and placed in a dedicated enterprise fund - the "Stormwater Fund".
The Stormwater Fund is dedicated to the operation, maintenance, and improvement to the City's stormwater drainage system to ensure compliance with the federally mandated regulations of the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) Permit. These funds cannot be used for any other purpose.
Starting January 1, 2024, user fees for Stormwater Drainage System Services including, but not limited to, inspections, cleaning, repair, and replacement of underground infrastructure, surface drainage/infiltration (ditches, swales, etc.), existing inlets, and culverts in the stormwater drainage system will be included on your monthly utility bill.
For more information, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page.
The City’s stormwater drainage system collects stormwater runoff from developed properties within Lewiston helps prevent flooding of residential and commercial properties, ensures that drainage from future growth does not impact existing properties, helps prevent damage to City roads, and protects the health of the public and the environment by reducing pollutants discharged to the system.
For more information, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page.
Unlike the water, wastewater, and sanitation utilities, the City has not had dedicated user fees to fund a full stormwater program to perform full operations, maintenance, and Capital Improvements. Instead, the City historically appropriated funds from the General Fund to cover the most immediate stormwater drainage system needs.
Additionally, the City is facing federal regulatory requirements to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit issued in 2020. This permit requires that the City documents, monitors, and controls the quality of discharge to the stormwater drainage system which flows to waters of the United States. and requires that the City control the quality of discharge to the stormwater drainage system which flows to waters of the United States. Non-compliance with this permit could result in significant fines. The primary regulatory law is:
Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) – Phase II of the CWA, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), requires that the City be covered under and comply with a Federal stormwater permit in order to legally discharge municipal stormwater into local waterways (e.g. Lindsay Creek, Clearwater River, Snake River, etc.). The City has been under the NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit since November 1, 2020. In order to comply with the permit, the City must implement a stormwater program which meets the following requirements:
The monies collected from your monthly utility bill are deposited into specific revenue accounts called Enterprise Funds. The Stormwater Drainage System Services user fee revenue shall be collected and deposited into a fund designated as the Stormwater Fund and used only for the cost of providing stormwater drainage system services to customers within the City of Lewiston.
The Stormwater Fund shall be used for the cost of service for the operation and maintenance of the City's stormwater drainage system including all related stormwater administration, planning, repair, improvement and regulatory compliance costs.
For more information on the Stormwater Drainage System Services user fees going into effect on January 1, 2024, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page.
Following the Stormwater User Fee Study's recommendation, two service areas were created to reflect the primary characteristics of the Stormwater Drainage System and the nature and cost of services provided to customers within each area:
You can find which Service Area your property is located in by entering your address in the interactive Stormwater Drainage System Utility Service Area Reference map.
The Stormwater Drainage System Services user fee, like the City’s Water, Wastewater, and Sanitation user fees, underwent a public hearing and presentation to City Council on August 14, 2023. Following the public hearing, City Council amended and approved the resolution with an effective date of January 1, 2024.
For more information on the monthly user fees, how they're calculated, and what you can do to reduce your monthly user fee, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page.
As described in the Stormwater User Fee Study, an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is the billing unit derived from a property’s Impervious Surface Area (ISA) which determines the stormwater user fee. One (1) ERU is equivalent to 4,500 square feet of ISA.
As described in the Stormwater User Fee Study, Impervious Surface Area (ISA) means the total square footage of material on a property that resists or blocks the passage of water into soils as would occur under natural conditions. Examples of impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, roads, alleys, parking lots, sidewalks, patios, decks, graveled areas, and swimming pools.
Unlike the water, wastewater, and sanitation utilities, the City has not had dedicated user fees to fund, implement, and manage a full stormwater program including an appropriate standard of practice for stormwater asset management and capital improvements. Instead, the City has historically appropriated funds from the general fund to cover the most immediate stormwater drainage system needs. The inability to perform full maintenance functions due to lack of funding has resulted in a significant backlog of system repair, replacement, and improvement projects.
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit went into effect on November 1, 2020 but the City does not have a dedicated funding mechanism to ensure compliance. Non-compliance with this permit would result in significant fines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), therefore a dedicated funding mechanism needs to be secured to ensure permit compliance as soon as possible.
The City has historically been successful in obtaining grant funding for stormwater projects and additional grant opportunities are actively being pursued. Grants for stormwater typically fall into two categories:
These grants typically come from Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) or Idaho State Department Environmental Quality (DEQ). While these grants help to fund projects, they routinely require at least 25% match in local funding which is what the City would apply user fees towards.
The City's Stormwater Drainage System Utility is modeled after the Stormwater User Fee Study adopted by City Council on April 25, 2022. This study used a combination of aerial images and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to measure the amount of Impervious Surface Area (ISA) present on a randomly selected sample of 150 single family residential properties within the City. Based on the data from this sample, the average amount of ISA on single family residential parcels was determined to be approximately 4,500 square feet. The City is using this measurement as the basis for the billing unit of the Stormwater Drainage System Services user fee (also known as the "Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU)").
*For Single Family Residence only. All other Residential Property monthly fees are further defined in the Stormwater Drainage System Utility Fee Structure & Credit Policy (PDF).
*The total Impervious Surface Area (ISA) determines the number of Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) billed per month. Commercial Property monthly fees are further defined in the Stormwater Drainage System Utility Fee Structure & Credit Policy (PDF).
For more information on the monthly user fees, please visit the User Fees page.
The City recognizes that some properties may be completely hydraulically disconnected from the City’s stormwater drainage system and may be eligible for a waiver upon meeting the criteria established in the Stormwater Drainage System Utility Fee Structure & Credit Policy (PDF).
If you believe that your property meets the eligibility criteria for a waiver, please fill out a Stormwater Drainage System Services - User Fee Recalculation Application (PDF) and submit a completed copy to Public Works in-person, mail, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete applications must have the following sections filled out:
Starting January 1, 2024, incomplete applications will not be accepted for review and will be returned to the applicant.
If you have any questions, please contact the Stormwater Division at 208-746-1316 extension 0 or email@example.com.
While the Orchards (predominantly Service Area 2) does not have the same level of underground infrastructure as downtown (predominantly Service Area 1), the surface drainage/infiltration (ditches, swales, etc.) and the existing inlets, culverts, and pipes in the Orchards require inspections, cleaning, repair/replacing, and routine street sweeping to prevent blockages by sediment and debris to reduce stormwater pollution.
As the utility develops, more infiltration swales, ponds, and ditch lines will be constructed in Service Area 2. Existing stormwater drainage system infrastructure in the Orchards can be seen in the maps taken from the City's asset management software (Cartegraph) provided below:
No, they are not. Sidewalks fall under the City public road right-of-way and will not be included in the calculation of the Impervious Surface Area (ISA) on your property. As described in Lewiston City Code § 36-258(i), customers who believe that their fees are incorrect have the ability to complete a User Fee Recalculation Application.
You can learn more about the User Fee Recalculation Application by visiting the dedicated User Fees page for the Stormwater Drainage System Utility.
If you currently qualify for the Utility Assistance Program, you are eligible for the Utility Assistance Program rate of the adopted Stormwater Drainage System Services user fees. For more information on the user fees, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page.
This program is facilitated locally by the Nez Perce County Assessor's office but applications are available at the Utility Billing counter at City Hall. The application window runs from January 2, 2024 to April 15, 2024.
You can learn more about the program by visiting the Assessor's Office page on the Nez Perce County website, contacting the Assessor's Office by phone at 208-799-3011, by fax at 208-799-3037, or in-person at the Nez Perce County Courthouse at 1230 Main Street in Lewiston, ID 83501.
Stormwater Drainage System Services user fees are identical to the other utilities you receive services from, and are billed for, on a monthly basis.
As described in Lewiston City Code § 36.5-16(b), if payment is not made on or before the fifteenth day of the month, the payment shall be considered delinquent; a late fee, as established by the City Council, shall be applied to the account on the twenty-first day of the month. Delinquent payments shall result in special assessments on your property as outlined in Lewiston City Code § 36.5-19.
For more information on the user fees, please visit the Stormwater Drainage System Utility page. If you have questions about what utility bill payments options are available, please contact Utility Billing at 208-746-3671 extension 0, firstname.lastname@example.org, or in-person at 1134 F Street.
The five-year list of Capital Improvement Projects can be found on page 17 of the Stormwater Master Plan (PDF). This list is subject to adjustment and/or extension as the Stormwater Drainage System Utility gets up and running.
The current list of Capital Projects can be found on page 16 of the Stormwater Master Plan (PDF) which is available on the City website or can be viewed in-person at the Public Works Department at 215 D Street, Lewiston, ID 83501.
Yes, the City will be charged this user fee. As the responsible party for the operation and maintenance of streets, roads, and/or publicly owned parking lots, the City must ensure said operation and maintenance is conducted in compliance with the Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit to protect water quality and reduce the discharge of pollutants; therefore, a 50% waiver is applied to all Impervious Surface Area (ISA) within the public right-of-way.
Per the Stormwater Drainage System Utility Fee Structure & Credit Policy (PDF), City-owned buildings, facilities, public parks, open spaces, trails, and paths are not eligible for credits or waivers.
Please call the Public Works Department at 208-746-1316 extension 0, email email@example.com, or complete this online form so maintenance can be scheduled with our Stormwater Division.
You can call the Public Works Department at 208-746-1316 extension 0, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete this online form so we can collect information for review.