Item Title: Municipal and County Collaboration on Stormwater Management and Water Quality Programs
Specific Action Requested:
That the Board of Commissioners receives information on the Collaborative Stormwater Management report and authorizes the creation of a Countywide Stormwater Management Task Force to consider the environmental and fiscal benefits of a collaborative stormwater program and its feasibility. The Task Force would be charged with the following activities:
Under an Interlocal Agreement between Wake County and each of the twelve municipalities, all of the local jurisdictions participated in a countywide stormwater management study. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the programmatic, operational and funding options available for the development of a collaborative stormwater management program involving some or all thirteen the units of local governments.
The evaluation focused on water quality protection and flood prevention through stormwater management and on compliance with regulatory mandates such as the recently promulgated National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II stormwater program.
Camp Dresser and McKee (CDM), an engineering-consulting firm, was selected to prepare the Collaborative Stormwater Management Report and to facilitate a focus group comprised of staff-level representatives of each of the jurisdictions. The Stormwater Managers Focus Group held ten meetings during the course of this project, beginning on November 5, 2004 and concluding on June 17, 2005. This group reviewed existing programs, developed priorities for future stormwater programs and provided suggestions and feedback for potential collaborative stormwater efforts.
As part of the evaluation, an individual needs assessment was conducted for each jurisdiction for existing and future programs. This assessment identified the existing level of service provided in the three major stormwater program areas of operations and maintenance, program management, and capital improvements and identified how these programs may respond to future growth.
Based on information from the individual needs assessments, the Stormwater Manager Focus Group identified a list of likely collaborative programs. Six initiatives were identified as first tier opportunities for collaboration:
1. Continuation of the Stormwater Managers Focus Group to guide short and long-term implementation efforts.
2. Development of a countywide environmental monitoring program – water quality sampling to establish baseline water quality levels, identify long-term trends in quality and to provide better performance measures for programs being implemented in the County.
3. Development of a common GIS system and stormwater assets inventory to efficiently meet the NPDES Phase II program inventory requirement. An inventory with common attributes across the County could be utilized for basin-wide planning, assessment of deficiencies and to improve operations and maintenance practices and to track illicit discharges.
4. Development of a common ordinance and program for post-construction stormwater runoff controls (including a design manual) to meet NPDES Phase II requirements. This would establish minimum standards, common inspections and enforcement procedures and maintenance requirements.
5. Develop a countywide training program for selected stormwater activities to provide uniform training to stormwater staff, contractors and developers working within the County.
The potential benefits of intergovernmental
collaboration include: progress toward the long term vision of a
watershed-based approach to stormwater management, greater efficiency of
service delivery, cost reduction, expansion/enhancement of services and
improved natural resource protection.
Next Steps – CDM and
the county propose two parallel initiatives to move forward in the next phase
of the project. The first initiative
would include a short-term goal, which is the selection and implementation of one
or more demonstration projects from the list of collaborative efforts proposed
by the focus group – such as the development of a County-wide training program
to provide common information on municipal good housekeeping efforts, illicit
discharge detection and elimination, and sedimentation and erosion control
education. Each jurisdiction that
wishes to participate would collaborate and implement these programs to build
the foundation for future collaboration efforts in the county.
The second, long-term initiative includes the development of a formal work plan, establishment of inter-local agreements, and the identification and implementation of additional cooperative programs or projects and appropriate funding mechanisms.
Short and Long-term Recommendations for Next Phase: County staff proposes two parallel initiatives to move forward in the next phase of the project. The first initiative by the Stormwater Managers Focus Group would be the selection and implementation of one or more demonstration projects. Each jurisdiction that wishes to participate would collaborate and implement these projects to build the foundation for future collaboration efforts in the county.
The second, long-term initiative would involve convening a Countywide Stormwater Management Task Force to consider the environmental and fiscal advantages of a Collaborative Stormwater Management program. The Task Force will review the report from the first phase of the project, assess current and future stormwater levels of services, identify citizen expectations of stormwater level of service, develop recommendations for a Countywide Stormwater Program, develop funding recommendations, where appropriate and develop an Implementation Plan. The Task Force activities are anticipated to take six months to complete.