Urbana Stormwater Asset Management Plan
WHAT IS THE STORMWATER ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN?
The City of Urbana’s Stormwater Asset Management Plan will provide a strategy for the City to manage its stormwater infrastructure, including storm sewers & manholes, detention ponds, streams & ditches, and other assets. Urbana's current Stormwater Management Program is funded by the Stormwater Utility Fee, and designed to meet the requirements of the City's permit with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). This permit is related to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4), which allows the City to discharge stormwater into its receiving streams. Please see the six control measures adopted by the City to improve the water quality of its stormwater discharges.
In 2019, Urbana launched an effort to prepare a Stormwater Asset Management Plan. The study team was re-engaged in 2022. The study is an essential initiative aimed at addressing the needs of the community's storm drainage system through these actions.
Go here to see the Stormwater Asset Management Plan Fact Sheet.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO IMPROVE THE EXISTING STORMWATER PROGRAM?
The current program is not sustainable due to increasing costs to repair, rehabilitate and replace City stormwater infrastructure. In addition, the current Program will not meet new municipal permit requirements that will be instituted in the near future. To meet the growing maintenance and permit compliance demands, Urbana is evaluating three program solutions that include:
- Addressing future state permit requirements
- Determining asset condition and making critical repairs in select areas to reduce breaks and failures
- Proactively rehabilitating and replacing sewer system components
WHY IS CHANGE NEEDED? WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF CHANGES ARE NOT MADE?
The current program allows Urbana to meet regulatory compliance requirements of IEPA permit and meet minimum operation and maintenance needs, but primarily on a reactionary basis, which means fixing problems as they come up. Approximately 30% of the storm sewer system is more than 100 years old, and the need for increased maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement will grow as time goes on due to the age of the system and rate of deterioration. We need to be more proactive to prevent major failures that could cause major roadway flooding or damage, flooding in basements, and damage to private properties and businesses. Everyone benefits from a functioning and sustainable storm sewer system.
HOW WILL THIS IMPACT THE STORMWATER UTILITY FEE?
A stormwater utility fee rate increase is being considered to help fund either one new Program or a combination of Programs that will improve stormwater asset management. The fee increase is dependent upon which proposed improvements are selected. Urbana is seeking public input on the proposed improvements and solutions that best meet the community’s needs. Check out the public meeting recording here to learn more about the different programs and fees associated with each.
For the latest recommendation of programmatic activities and stormwater utility fee rate increase, check out the information from the August 21, 2023 presentation before City Council: Urbana_SWAMP_Council_Presentation_082123.pdf
HOW CAN I PROVIDE FEEDBACK?
Feedback, questions, and comments may also be sent directly to Urbana Public Works Assistant City Engineer Carmen Franks, PE, PhD at firstname.lastname@example.org and 217-384-2342.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE AND PROCESS?
The project team has gathered data on City stormwater assets and is evaluating potential improvements, acceptable levels of service, and associated costs. Stakeholder engagement will occur throughout the process, including meetings with community groups, businesses, neighborhood associations, and regulatory agencies.
A virtual public meeting was held on May 11, 2023 at 6 p.m. to seek comments. In addition, the project team will distribute information to the public via various channels, including social media, the project website, city newsletters, and City Council meetings. These communication channels will be used to keep the public informed about project milestones, upcoming meetings, and other important updates.
- Watch the virtual public meeting here. The slides from the presentation are here: May 11th 2023 Virtual Public Meeting Slides.
- The project team will present their findings and recommendation for a Stormwater Asset Management Program to Urbana City Council on August 7, 2023.
A final recommendation and report are anticipated in Summer 2023.
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IS KEY
Stakeholder engagement is an essential part of the study and results in better decision-making and outcomes. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) – consisting of local governmental agencies, businesses, neighborhood associations, community organizations, and others -- has been established to support public involvement in the project and provide feedback to the study team. Members of the TAC are expected to provide input on study data and technical analyses and identify community, environmental, and economic issues and resources. By doing so, the TAC will help to ensure that the project team has a comprehensive understanding of the needs and concerns of the stakeholders.
A public meeting was held in Spring 2023 to seek comments. In addition, the project team will distribute information to the public via various channels, including social media, the project website, city newsletters, and City Council meetings. These communication channels will be used to keep the public informed about project milestones, upcoming meetings, and other important updates.
Please share your valuable feedback, questions, and comments with Assistant City Engineer Carmen Franks, PE, PhD. at email@example.com and 217-384-2342.