The City of Erie is seeking 10 to 12 volunteers to serve on the Stormwater Credit Advisory Committee.
The City employed Wood Consulting to undertake a Stormwater Management Fee Feasibility study. Based on the results of that study, last year, the Schember Administration proposed a fee of $12, $24, or $36 per year for City homeowners and a fee for businesses, nonprofits, and public entities calculated based on the number of billing units, with each billing unit equal to 2,136 square feet of impervious area.
The purpose of the fee is to:
• Provide a dedicated source of funding to proactively replace, repair, and maintain the City’s aging stormwater system;
• Maintain the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s MS4 compliance;
• Avoid the need to issue bonds, which would then cost taxpayers more in the long-run;
• Spread the burden out over all property owners to keep fees for residents, who individually have the least amount of impervious surfaces, as low as possible.
As part of this fee, the City must create a credit and appeals policy and process. Wood Consulting will provide technical information and facilitate a Credit Advisory Committee, which will include a diverse cross-section of interests, skills, and expertise, with the following representation of concerned residents, businesses, environmental groups, developers, engineers, and nonprofits.
The commitment will last approximately 6 months and includes four 2.5-hour meetings, which would likely begin in April and end in July, as well as time for meeting preparation. Meeting topics include:
1. Introductory Meeting/ Credit and Appeals Policy Overview/Stormwater Utility Background
2. Credit and Appeals Types/Working Examples
3. Draft Credit and Appeals Policy Process Review
4. Final Credit Policy Review and Feedback
The CAC role is advisory and the final decision on policies remains staff-driven for ultimate consideration by the City Council. As part of the process, Wood will develop a credit manual explaining the process and policy by which customers can apply to reduce their stormwater fees and how customers can appeal their stormwater fees if there appears to be an error in the billing database, rate calculation, credit calculations, or changes in parcel ownership.
If residents are interested in serving on the Stormwater Credit Advisory Committee, please apply at https://go.citygrows.com/city-of-erie/stormwater-credit-advisory-committee by Friday, April 1, 2022.