Renee Schiavone / Patch

VA - Stormwater Utility Fee Doubling Approved In Alexandria

The stormwater utility fee increase is expected to generate more funds to address stormwater capacity amid recent flooding issues.

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On Saturday, Alexandria City Council unanimously voted to double the stormwater utility fee.

The stormwater utility fee, currently set at $140 per billing unit, is scheduled to increase in two steps: to $210 in June 2021 and to $280 in November 2021. First adopted in 2017, the fee provides dedicated funding for the city's stormwater management program to address impacts of stormwater pollution and flooding. However, a larger portion of funds have gone to stormwater quality initiatives to meet state and federal mandates than stormwater capacity initiatives.

The fee increase was recommended by the Interdepartmental Strike Team Flooding Management Task Force created in response to flooding events on July 8, 2019; July 23, 2020; and Sept. 2, 2020. The task force recommended the fee increase to help accelerate stormwater capacity projects and maintenance. An accelerated timeline for projects is part of the new 10-year Capital Improvement Program proposed by City Manager Mark Jinks.

According to a memo on the stormwater utility fee increase, the increased fee could bring in an additional $14.8 million in funds this calendar year.

With the approval, City Council also directed city staff to bring back an amendment to revise a section of the city code defining the purpose of the fee to reflect a greater focus on flooding. That came as a result of ongoing discussions between Alexandria resident Katie Waynick and Mayor Justin Wilson.

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