Stormwater Matters: Virtual Public Meeting August 25

Posted on Tuesday August 03, 2021

Effective stormwater management in Cheltenham Township is vital to preventing flooding, making our streams healthier, and protecting the environment. Since the summer of 2020, the Township has been working with Arcadis, a Philadelphia-based design and consulting firm, to conduct a Stormwater Fee Feasibility Study that will help determine an appropriate method for generating sufficient stormwater revenue to cover the costs of the Township’s stormwater program.

On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at 7 pm, Cheltenham Township will hold a virtual public meeting to review and discuss the study. Led by Arcadis, the discussion will focus on:

  • The benefits of an effective stormwater program and stormwater fees;
  • The Township’s proposed stormwater program costs and budget (including future projects);
  • Residential and commercial rate structure under consideration; and
  • A residential and non-residential credit policy being developed.

For more than a year, Arcadis has been working with a Stormwater Advisory Committee (SAC) consisting of Township officials and residential, commercial, and institutional property owners to guide the feasibility study process. Arcadis has also been meeting with various Township stakeholders and led a prior public meeting in January regarding the process.

Across Pennsylvania, a growing number of communities have already implemented stormwater management fees to help finance projects that will meet increasing state and federal regulations placed upon communities to manage stormwater and improve water quality. Additionally, these fees enable municipalities to tackle stormwater projects that will improve their ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to significant storm events.

Increasingly frequent severe weather events in Cheltenham Township, along with inadequate stormwater conveyance systems, have contributed to significant stormwater costs and devastating impacts for the Township and its property owners. Improving resiliency of Township infrastructure, flood mitigation, and water quality projects will continue to place a strain on the Township’s budgets and require a dedicated source of funding. The Township is investigating a stormwater fee as an equitable option for funding these costs.

At the August 25 meeting, more details will be provided regarding a credit policy for residential and non-residential property owners to reduce the cost of their stormwater fee. This annual fee will usually be based on a property’s amount of impervious coverage — any man-made areas that cannot absorb rain or snow, such as driveways, roofs, and sidewalks. The maximum credit for a property is anticipated to be 50% of the stormwater fee. Credits could be assessed to a property that implements Best Management Practices (BMPs) proven to reduce the amount and/or improve the quality of stormwater leaving their property. Examples of BMP credits for which residential properties may be eligible include rain garden/bioremediation, pervious pavement, vegetated filter strips, and underground storage.

For non-residential property owners, types of credits being considered include structural BMPs, non-structural (fertilizer management, education program, etc.) and institutional (NPDES Industrial Stormwater Permit, MS4 Permit Holder, etc.).

Township residents, businesses, taxpayers, and those interested in the stormwater program are invited to learn more by participating in the virtual meeting that will take place via Zoom. To register, visit the Stormwater Matters webpage. If you do not have access to a computer or smartphone, call 215-887-1000 ext. 114 for the meeting ID and passcode to call in.

Media contact:
Leza Raffel, 215-884-6499

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