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State and federal governments have passed new regulations that require Clemmons to take steps to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. This is an unfunded mandate and adequate funding for the stormwater program is required by the state. The fee will also enable the Village to address some of the Village’s stormwater quantity problems. The stormwater fee will be charged to all properties with impervious surfaces and is a reliable and equitable source of funding for the program.
Stormwater runoff is the rain or melted snow that runs off all natural and developed surfaces. Streets, rooftops, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks and other developed surfaces do not permit the land to absorb stormwater and so runoff is increased dramatically from these areas. Stormwater collects pollutants from these hard surfaces and carries them to our streams, lakes and the Yadkin River, impacting the quality of these bodies of water and even our drinking water.
Any surface that does not readily absorb water and impedes the natural infiltration of water into the soil. Common examples include roofs, driveways, parking areas, sidewalks, patios, tennis courts, concrete or asphalt streets, crushed stone and gravel surfaces.
The stormwater fee is based on an Equivalent Residential Unit. An ERU was determined by taking a sampling of residential properties, impervious area on each was measured and a typical impervious area was calculated. 1 ERU = 3,952 square feet.
Single Family Residential properties will be charged a flat fee per year. Each SFR property will be assessed 1 ERU per month or 12 ERUs per year. The rate has been set at $60.00 per ERU per year or $5.00 per month for each ERU.
Non-Single Family Residential properties (examples include: commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, utilities, religious, tax-exempt) will be billed based on the amount of impervious area. The actual impervious surface area will be measured in square feet and the number of ERUs calculated by dividing the total square feet of impervious area by the ERU amount (3,952).
All properties within the village that have impervious surfaces contribute to stormwater runoff and therefore should pay their share of the costs of the program.
Yes, stormwater bills will be sent to the owner of each condominium unit, townhouse and duplex. Just as a SFR, the owner would be charged for 1 ERU per month or 12 ERUs per year. If the homeowner’s association requests (in writing), a single bill for the total impervious area for the entire complex (all dwelling units, private streets, common areas) could be calculated. Generally, an association would then distribute this cost to property owners in the development.
Two or more dwellings on one parcel is considered multi-family residential and total impervious area will be measured and the number of ERUs calculated.
No, the stormwater fee is a utility like your gas, electric, or water/sewer utility.
The only properties exempt from the stormwater fee are those that have less than 500 square feet of impervious surface area. All other property owners cannot be exempted unless they remove structures and other impervious materials from the property, re-seed and re-plant, returning the property to its natural state.
A property owner who believes there is an error in the impervious surface area calculations may appeal in writing to the manager or stormwater administrator.
The regulatory requirements concern only quality issues. However, Clemmons can address quantity issues by adopting regulations to reduce future flooding problems. Private property issues are not likely to be addressed by the use of public funds. Improvements to storm drainage systems within the public rights of way are likely in a few years.
The billing cycle is on an annual basis and included with the Forsyth County property tax bill as a separate fee. The bill will be sent out in August. Fees are due September 1 and past due January 5, the same as property taxes. Stormwater fees are payable to the Forsyth County Tax Collector and not collected by the Village of Clemmons or its personnel.
The Forsyth County Tax Collector has the authority to charge delinquent fees and interest to the bill. The collection procedures include garnishment of wages.
The stormwater program will likely always be a part of Clemmons’ services to the citizens. Stormwater has long been a problem in Clemmons and elsewhere, and so long as there is rainfall and human activity, there will be a need to manage stormwater runoff quality and to minimize flooding problems.
Typically, mortgage companies will pay from the mortgagee’s escrow account all fees and taxes that are charged to a property. It would be appropriate for each property owner to compare their copy of the tax bill to the annual statement provided by the mortgage company to ensure that all fees (including stormwater fees) and taxes are properly paid.