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General Information

Monroe County established a stormwater fee in 2011. The fee provides a funding mechanism for maintaining and improving stormwater infrastructure in Monroe County, and to improve public health and safety through clean water and reduced flood hazards. 

The goals of the stormwater operations program are:

  1. To ensure that Monroe County's lakes and streams are fishable and swimmable
  2. To identify flood control projects that enhance public health and safety
  3. To comply with Phase II of the Clean Water Act

 This powerpoint presentation gives a quick summary of the stormwater fee and some common questions.

Quick Clean Water Act History

1972 - Focused on wastewater treatment facilities

1987 - Phase I required entities that serve 100,000 people or more to apply for a permit for stormwater runoff. This included Indianapolis.

1994 - Report to Congress stated that stormwater discharges from non-Phase 1 sources remain significant causes to water quality impairment.

1999 - Phase II - entities less than 100,000 people regulated. This included Ellettsville, Ivy Tech, Indiana University, Bloomington and unincorporated Monroe County. There is no federal or state funding for this program and it is our responsibility to meet the federal requirements.

State Legislation 

Rule 13 or 327 Indiana Administrative Code 15-13-1 outlines our clean water responsibilities. Over 20 Indiana counties are required to implement Phase II of the Clean Water Act.

Indiana Code 8-1.5-5 amended in 2004 to allow counties to establish stormwater fees.

Monroe County is one of 22 Indiana counties that are regulated under Rule 13, Indiana's implementation of Phase II of the Clean Water Act. In 2004, the Indiana Code was amended to allow counties to establish stormwater utilities. Since that time, 7 of the regulated counties have established stormwater utilities: Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Howard, Lake, and Warrick.

Marion County established a stormwater utility in 2001 as a consolidated city. The city of Bloomington and the town of Ellettsville have also enacted stormwater utilities. More information on Indiana stormwater utilities is available on the Utility Links page.

Monroe County

The Stormwater Ordinance (Chapter 766, Stormwater Fee and Fund) was approved by the Monroe County Commissioners on July 1, 2011. The Monroe County Council approved the stormwater fee on July 26, 2011. The ordinance was amended April 19, 2013.

For a schedule of Storm Water Management Board meetings, visit the Stormwater Meetings page.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1.      What does the stormwater fee pay for?

The stormwater fee pays for drainage projects in the county that improve drainage and water quality, including the projects in the Long Term Drainage Plan. This includes clearing sediment out of pipes that carry water from ditches and creeks under roads.  This also includes cleaning inlets and improving sediment and erosion controls.

2.      Why should I have to pay?  I live out in the country and have no drainage problem.

You may not have a problem, but the runoff from your property can contribute to downstream flooding and water quality problems.  A responsible approach recognizes that everyone contributes to runoff and that everyone shares in the results (better road drainage, cleaner water, and reduced flooding).  For example, there are about four pipes that cross under each mile of county road, and these need to be cleaned and sometimes replaced.

3.      Do residents of Bloomington and Ellettsville have to pay the county stormwater fee?

While residents of incorporated areas do not pay the County stormwater fee, Bloomington has had its own stormwater fee since 1998 and in 2008 Ellettsville started one. 

4.      How is the stormwater fee determined?

For each single or two family residential unit and for each condominium, the annual fee is $35.16.  This is based on the average area of hard surfaces such as driveways and rooftops that allow little or no rainfall to soak into the ground. 

 For everything else, the hard surface area has been measured for each parcel. The greater the hard surface area, the greater the fee.  Monroe County Chapter 766 gives more detailed information about how fees are determined.

5.      Why is the fee the same for all single family residential properties? 

The fee is the same because it would have been expensive to measure the hard surface areas on all residential parcels and update this each year.  By applying an average amount of hard surface for all residential parcels, the fee for home owners is kept as low as possible. 

6.      Is there a way to reduce my stormwater fee?

Not yet, but a program to provide stormwater fee discounts to owners who implement stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) is being considered.  The practices are being considered because they can help offset the increased runoff from hard surfaces.

7.  Who oversees Stormwater operations?

Stormwater operations are overseen by the Stormwater Management Board.  The three County Commissioners and the County Surveyor serve on this Board.

 

 

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