Why does the City have to implement a stormwater management program and fees? Aren't there alternatives?

While we know that our waterways are being impacted by stormwater runoff and illicit discharges, the main reason for enhancing our program is the fact that the City is faced with its own new stormwater requirements. These requirements make it impossible for the City to continue paying for the stormwater program largely from General Fund tax revenues. The main regulatory law the City now faces is:

Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) – Phase II of the CWA, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requires that the City be covered under and comply with a Federal stormwater permit in order to legally discharge municipal stormwater into local waterways. The City has been under the NPDES Permit since October 1, 2019. In order to comply with the permit, the City must implement stormwater management activities, including: (1) public education, outreach, and involvement; (2) finding and eliminating illegal polluted discharges; (3) construction site erosion and sediment control; (4) post-construction stormwater management on new development and redevelopment; (5) pollution prevention and good housekeeping for City operations; (6) performing outfall monitoring and assessment activities for discharges to water quality impaired stream and creeks ; and (7) keeping records and preparing compliance reports.

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1. How was the billing for residential properties determined?
2. We heard that you were waiving some types of properties or offering credits. How can this be fair to the rest of us?
3. Why are you collecting money for water, wastewater and now stormwater? Isn't it all the same thing?
4. Is money going to be siphoned off to go to non-stormwater activities?
5. Why not wait to collect fees until later?
6. Why should I pay if all my stormwater stays on my property or in my parking lot?
7. What about property owners that have their own NPDES Multi-Sector or Municipal Stormwater Permit, why should they pay too?
8. What about people on fixed incomes like senior citizens?
9. Are sidewalks included in the calculation of my stormwater fee?
10. What kind of technical help is available for small developments?
11. I heard that the City of Lewiston had a stormwater utility and user fees that was repealed by the Courts. Isn’t this the same thing?
12. Why aren’t stormwater user fees being voted on by the people?
13. Why can’t the City get a waiver from NPDES?
14. Why does the City have to implement a stormwater management program and fees? Aren't there alternatives?
15. How does this stormwater program benefit me?
16. What is the money raised by stormwater fees going to be used for?
17. Do properties that retain and infiltrate some of their stormwater onsite get any credit (reduced stormwater user fee)?