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5. Proposed changes to credits, exemptions, or adjustments to stormwater utility fees in the Draft Plan

The City currently provides several credits that can be applied against customers’ bimonthly stormwater utility bills. The Draft Plan proposes eliminating some the credits contained in the Bellingham Municipal Code. These recommended changes to the credits were decided based on the effectiveness of the credits and impact on the City’s stormwater system.

The Draft Plan proposes to eliminate credits for the following:

  • Qualified existing stormwater facilities, which includes: Any property with properly maintained water quality and quantity facility that meets or exceeds the design requirements of the 1992 Department of Ecology Stormwater Technical Manual; and Any property that has an active and valid NPDES permit
  • Public education credits
  • Credits for partially gravel or approved pervious surfacing including customers with at least 6,000 sq ft of gravel (20% credit), and pervious surfaces meeting infiltration standards on the pervious surface square footage (50% credit)

At present rate levels, the elimination of these credits results in an increase of approximately $500,000 in revenue per year.

The Draft Plan proposes to maintain credits for the following:

  • Credits for qualified existing stormwater facilities with discharge limits will be maintained.
  • The City also provides a credit for lower-income and senior citizens but currently does not have this credit in the BMC. The City intends to maintain this credit and add it to the BMC.

The Draft Plan proposes to add a new credit:

  • Finally, a credit of a minimum of 10% shall be applied to any new or remodeled commercial building that installs a rainwater harvesting system properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building.

For more information on Exemptions, Credits and Adjustments, see Section 10.7 of the Draft Plan.

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