PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

Lower Swatara Township gives final approval to $7 monthly stormwater fee

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 4/14/20

Lower Swatara Township’s stormwater fee is officially in place.

The township municipal authority unanimously approved three documents during a special meeting Thursday, although the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Lower Swatara Township gives final approval to $7 monthly stormwater fee

Posted

Lower Swatara Township’s stormwater fee is officially in place.

The township municipal authority unanimously approved three documents during a special meeting Thursday, although the documents may still need to be officially signed by township leaders.

The fee will not go into place until Sept. 1 for bills beginning in October.

For months, Lower Swatara’s commissioners and members of its municipal authority have discussed implementing a stormwater fee that will fund its stormwater program.

Municipalities such as Lower Swatara are required to manage their storm sewer systems, runoff water and pollutants entering watersheds through an MS4 — which stands for municipal separate storm sewer system permit.

The fee is not a tax because tax-exempt properties such as churches and the fire hall also will have to pay it.

Last November, the commissioners and municipal authority members agreed on a $7 monthly fee for residential properties. For commercial properties, the fee would depend on how many equivalent residential units it has. One ERU is 3,750 square feet of impervious area, such as a parking lot. One ERU carries a $7 fee.

On Thursday, the municipal authority approved three documents — a management agreement for the municipal authority to own the storm sewer system, but for the township to manage it; a resolution adopting the fee; and a credit policy.

Credits to reduce the monthly fee are only available to non-residential properties. According to the policy (a copy of which was provided to the Press & Journal), a 30 percent credit is the maximum that can be awarded unless it is a stormwater partnership credit.

The partnership is one of four types of credits and is for property owners who have an idea for a stormwater project. The other types of credits are for education, low-impact parcels and structural best management practices that control the peak rate and volume of stormwater runoff.