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Upcoming Election (August 23) Stormwater Utility

At a Special Session on June 7, the Norman City Council approved an ordinance that put the establishment of a stormwater utility on an August 23rd ballot for consideration by Norman voters.

WHY DO WE NEED A STORMWATER UTILITY?
The Council is proposing the Stormwater Utility so that Norman, like many cities our size around the nation, could have a predictable and stable source of funding to meet the increasing stormwater needs of our community. The funding would allow the City of Norman to implement stormwater management programs to protect our drinking water quality, maintain our creeks and streams, and address the erosion of many of our streams. It will also allow us to meet federal and state regulatory requirements. (If we don't meet these mandates, we could face possible fines and penalties of up to $10,000 per day.)

HOW IS THE RATE DETERMINED?
The monthly utility rate that voters will see on the ballot is $1.25 per 1,000 square feet of impervious surface in addition to a $1 per month stormwater management fee. Raw land or undeveloped lots will not be subject to the monthly stormwater management fee or the utility rate.

WHAT IS IMPERVIOUS AREA?
Impervious area is the hard surface that reduces the rainfall's ability to soak into the ground. Examples are buildings, pavements, driveways, and sidewalks. As rain runs off of these surfaces, it carries pollutants such as gasoline, motor oil, fertilizer, pet waste and sediment into our streams and creeks, and eventually to Lake Thunderbird, which is the source of 70% of our drinking water.

HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH IMPERVIOUS AREA I HAVE AT MY RESIDENCE OR BUSINESS?
We have a calculator that will help you estimate the amount of imperious area on your property.

Link to calculator

HOW DO I MANUALLY DETERMINE MY RATE?
Here’s an example of how to determine what your monthly rate would be:

1. A property has 3,642 square feet of imperious area.
2. Divide 3,642 by 1,000, which is 3.642.
3. Round the 3.642 up to 4 x 1.25 = $5.00 (Round up or down to the nearest whole number)
4. Add the $1 stormwater management fee
5. The monthly stormwater utility rate would be $6 for the example property

WHY IS THE RATE BASED ON IMPERVIOUS AREA?
Impervious area is the most common approach that cities across the nation use to measure a property's polluted runoff and is the basis for the rate structure in the proposed ordinance. More impervious area typically means more stormwater runoff with its contaminants and pollutants that impact water quality. Runoff can also cause flooding and drainage issues. Funds from the stormwater utility would allow the City of Norman to address these important water quality, flooding and drainage issues as well as the erosion of many of our streams and creeks.

HOW MUCH REVENUE IS THE STORMWATER UTILITY EXPECTED TO GENERATE AND HOW WILL IT BE USED?
The stormwater utility is expected to generate $4,900,000 in the first full year. This revenue will be used for:
$1,100,000 in basic maintenance of stormwater pipeline and channel maintenance;
$1,680,000 to meet state and federal regulatory requirements for stormwater quality, street sweeping, and to reduce pollutants in Lake Thunderbird; and
$2,120,000 to enhance maintenance in neighborhoods and small-scale capital flood relief projects

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  

Stormwater Brochure with Frequently Asked Questions

Comprehensive List of Frequently Asked Questions

Schedule for Ward Meetings and the Public Meeting

Stormwater Master Plan Executive Summary 

Link to Information about the Stormwater Master Plan

Ordinance 1516-40 (Establishing SWU Rates)

Ordinance 1516-41 (Calling for Special Election)

Resolution (Notice of Special Election)

Special Election Proclamation 

Stormwater Presentation

Stormwater Discussion with Mayor Miller and Amanda Nairn (video 5:14)