Storm sewers, culverts, and a host of other stormwater infrastructure components need repair, but funding for capital improvements is scarce. Likewise, many communities are interested in stabilizing stream banks and other restoration projects, yet they have limited resources to do so. Establishing a stormwater utility is a good option for local governments to respond to these challenges. Setting up a stormwater utility allows a community to establish a user fee based on the demands property owners place on the drainage system. It provides a dedicated revenue stream for stormwater programs as well as an incentive for property owners to reduce the amount of runoff they generate. While special service areas may be used to fund projects at the neighborhood level, many needs are community-wide in scope and require a community-wide source of revenue.
The Value of Stormwater Utilities for Local Governments in the Chicago Region outlines the legal authority and key components of a stormwater utility. In addition, this report showcases existing stormwater utilities in Illinois and lays out an implementation process for establishing a utility. For additional information on the publication, contact Nora Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8677).