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Stormwater Utility

The stormwater utility is a user fee that pays for city wide watershed planning studies and permitting compliance requirements mandated by federal and state laws, as well as other stormwater program activities. The utility fee is also used for certain maintenance and improvements to the stormwater drainage system such as culverts, ditches, wetlands, stormwater ponds, and rain gardens.

How Surface Water Utility Fees are Calculated

Surface water management services and fees have been in place for all property owners in Lake Elmo since 2003. Lake Elmo’s surface water management fee is based on a parcel’s land use or zoning classification and the assumed amount of impervious surface typically associated with that particular land use. The Surface Water Management Utility Fee for residential properties is a flat $50. The fee for commercial properties is calculated by multiplying the $50 base utility rate by a factor that is intended to reflect a greater financial responsibility for services due to the amount of impervious or hard (buildings, roads and parking lots) surfaces associated with a commercial property. The fee for other land use classifications (agriculture, manufactured home, CUP, golf/park, school/church) is determined by multiplying the $50 base utility rate by a factor that reflects the amount of impervious surface associated with that particular land use.

Storm Water Utility Fee Appeal

City Ordinance states that if a property owner or person responsible for paying the surface water management fee believes that a particular assigned fee is incorrect, the person may request that the fee be recomputed.  To appeal a fee, please submit a Storm Water Fee Appeal form.

City Services Funded Through the Fee

  • Surface Water Resource and Management Planning and Watershed Studies
  • Federal and State mandated permitting and compliance activities
  • Maintenance and/or inspection of off-road ditches, culverts, ponds and storm sewers.
  • Street sweeping
  • Identification, design and construction of capital projects to improve drainage and water quality
  • Detection and prevention of Illicit discharges into the storm water system
  • Construction site controls to prevent erosion and pollution
  • Promotion of rain gardens, native plantings and habitat restorations to improve water quality and prevent pollution of lakes and streams and rivers
  • Implement and promote “Best Management Practices” with commercial businesses, farmers, livestock owners and forest land owners.
  • Public Education and Outreach