The Stormwater Services Program aims to maintain the storm water management system throughout the unincorporated areas of the county.
New Hanover County, North Carolina, plans to use funding included in the latest COVID-19 relief measure to cover part of the cost property owners in unincorporated areas pay for storm water services.
According to the North Carolina Coastal Federation, the Stormwater Services Program aims to maintain the storm water management system throughout the unincorporated areas of the county. Other goals of the program are to create a more comprehensive approach to storm water management and relieve property owners of maintaining and cleaning ditches and pipes on their property, according to the county.
The county’s storm water services began in July 2020, but in the first year of the program, fees were not collected because of the financial impacts of COVID-19. As a result, about $4 million in funding was provided through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
A public meeting via Zoom is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, for residents to ask questions and to learn more about the program and the fees, according to the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
Starting July 1, a single-family residential property will pay a flat rate fee of $1 per month for the program. Additionally, commercial properties, nonprofits, churches and any other nonresidential properties will be charged a fee based on their impervious surface area, according to the New Hanover County Engineering website.
“We have been working over the past year to clear out debris and create better storm water flow in several watersheds in the unincorporated areas of the county, and also assess the current storm water system and conveyances,” said County Engineer Jim Iannucci in a statement, according to the North Carolina Coastal Federation. “Now we will start prioritizing maintenance for existing drainage easements where it is needed most. Residents may not see our teams right away clearing out their ditches – because that will take time. But what you will see is our crews focusing on the easements in highest need, and then working our way throughout the entire unincorporated areas.”
In 2022, once the funding is exhausted the fee is expected to return to $5.65 per unit per month, according to the county.
The county’s storm water fee will be billed as a separate line item on New Hanover County tax bills in August for property owners in the unincorporated county. The fee will not be applied to properties that have not been developed.