New Hanover County Board of Commissioners to consider adjustments to Stormwater Services Program

Posted May 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm     Category: County CommissionersEngineeringNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The Board of Commissioners, at its May 18 meeting, will consider a resolution to modify the county’s Stormwater Services Program and delay the fee to property owners for one year due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on residents, businesses, and organizations.

The Stormwater Services Program, which was authorized by the Board of Commissioners in December 2019, will serve the unincorporated area of New Hanover County and ensure maintenance of the stormwater management system. If the fee collection is delayed, the program will still begin on July 1, 2020 with some modifications.

“We know there are property owners in the unincorporated areas of the county, including businesses, nonprofits and churches, who have experienced financial strain from COVID-19,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “And while the planned Stormwater Services Program fee for residential properties is nominal, it would still be an additional cost that they are not used to paying. So Commissioners are considering a resolution next week that would delay this fee for a year, while our team continues to move the stormwater program forward with watershed projects, emergency stormwater work, ramped up staffing, and program planning.”

The resolution, which can be viewed here, outlines several modifications, including:

  • The implementation date for the Stormwater Services Program will remain July 1, 2020, with a special revenue fund established one year later on July 1, 2021.
  • Initial Stormwater Services fees will not be included on the August 2020 tax bills, but will be included on the tax bills that will be mailed one year later, in August 2021.
  • Property owners in the unincorporated area of the county are encouraged to continue cleaning ditches to maintain drainage flow on their property through June 30, 2021; and the county will assume maintenance responsibilities on July 1, 2021.

In its first year, beginning July 2020, the Stormwater Services Program will focus on the 13 Emergency Watershed Protection projects to remove downed trees and sediment in local watersheds. The county will also install a culvert and perform related ditch work as part of the Military Cutoff Extension project, to ensure better stormwater management in the Torchwood Boulevard area.

“We know many of our residents are ready for this program to be in place because it will provide a valuable and higher-level of service to them,” said County Engineer Jim Iannucci. “It will also help in our overall approach to watersheds by improving the flow of stormwater, along with reducing pollutants and flood risks. So while we aren’t implementing a fee this first year, our work is going to continue. This coming year, we will complete projects based on priority and available funding, and our team will be finalizing the Stormwater Services Program Ordinance and the technical manual in preparation for the full program to be up and running, with the enterprise fund in place, by July 2021.”

To learn more about the new Stormwater Services program visit Engineering.NHCgov.com.

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Media Contact:
Jessica Loeper
910-798-7461

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