What happens when county and state roads are placed in the Township?
Allegheny County and PennDOT have their own Stormwater Permit that they must comply with. This means that they are responsible for the care and maintenance of the stormwater system including, but not limited to, catch basins, stormwater detention facilities, curbs, roadways, and piping. An example was given by the Township engineer about the Southern Beltway. They were required to file for permits and have them approved. There are many stormwater facilities being placed along the beltway that the state will be required to maintain.
Are commercial properties paying their “fair-share” into the fee?
Yes. The way that a fee is structured is that it is fair across the board for everyone. Every property that has a structure on it and is not vacant will be charged a fee. There is a flat rate of $3.50 for residents, and commercial/non-residential properties will be paying according to their impervious area. The larger the building and parking lots that they have, the more they will pay in to the fee.
Tax-exempt properties, such as schools and churches, will also pay the fee.
When developers pay the stormwater fee during the permitting process, does that money go towards maintenance of those ponds?
When a permit for a development is turned in to the Township, there is a stormwater fee that is required to be submitted as well. The fee is required so that it covers the cost of the Township inspecting the Post-Construction facilities for 30 years after implementation. Typically, the developer will turn the detention facility over to the owner of the property, or an HOA if in a housing plan. If a pond is turned over to the HOA or the property owner, then they are responsible for the maintenance of that pond. The fee money that was given to the Township at the time of permitting does not pay for those maintenance items. However, there are circumstances where ponds are dedicated over to the Township. Terms of the dedication are case-by-case and typically there is a fee associated with the dedication. Once the dedication is made, the HOA or property owner is no longer responsible for that pond financially or if yearly maintenance is needed.
If an HOA is responsible for their own ponds, and those ponds are in working order, can the HOA receive credit?
Yes, there will be an application process if someone is interested in receiving credits. The applications will be reviewed by the Township and a determination will be made of how much credit a facility can receive (up to 25%). If there are multiple ponds located within a development, each pond will be reviewed individually, and a credit will be given depending on the functionality of the pond.
If someone owns multiple parcels but most of them are considered vacant land, will they have to pay the fee for the vacant lots?
No. The fee is set up to have three different types of properties. Single family resident, non-single family resident (businesses) and vacant lots. A property is considered vacant if there is less than 800 square feet of impervious area on that lot. Vacant properties are not required to pay the fee.
How many projects are going to be completed in the next five years?
To meet our requirements set forth by the DEP, the Township will complete 6 projects over the next five years. Those projects include a stream bank restoration project along North Road, three detention pond retrofits at the Pointe/RIDC Park, a pond retrofit at the Preserves, and a new detention pond constructed in Hankey Farms. These projects are required to meet our 10% reduction in sediment.
How much money is the fee going to generate annually?
Before any credits are applied, the fee will generate approximately $346,000 per year.
How much will it cost the Township to implement the six projects over the next five years?
If all six of the projects are contracted out to a 3rd party company, the projected cost of the projects is $1,156,000. That breaks down to costing $231,200 per year. The Township is very fortunate that our Department of Public Works can perform all but one of the projects themselves. The work will be done in-house and will save the Township a significant amount of money.
Breakdown of anticipated funds:
- $150,000/year for materials and equipment for the 6 planned projects over the next five years to meet DEP regulations
- $100,000/year for personnel costs associated with compliance. This money will not be used for everyday stormwater work, but for the cases where extra work is required i.e. filing permits, planning of projects, completion of projects, etc.
- $50,000 will be put towards capital projects. These projects are different from the six mentioned above, and are projects that have been waiting to be funded.
- $25,000 will be set aside per year to build up the funds for the one project out of six that will be contracted out. The project is estimated to cost approximately $235,000 and is located at the Pointe.
- $20,000 for equipment replacement/maintenance costs associated with stormwater work.