Storm Sewer Fees - a change to your Property Taxes

Posted by Michelle Cuthbert on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

The third and fourth property tax bill installments for 2019 are in the mail. When opening your bill you will notice a change with respect to Storm Sewer Fees.

In prior years, the storm sewer amount was included in the general levy (tax rate) so every homeowner paid a storm sewer rate, even if the property was not on, or planned to be on, storm sewers.

New for 2019, as per Council’s decision during the 2019 budget deliberations, properties within the "Storm Sewer Urban Boundary” will have a flat fee applied for Storm Sewers depending on the property type.  The new Storm Sewer Fee is identified on your tax bill under ‘Special Charges’, as circled below.

 

how will this affect my bill?
The Storm Sewer Fee is an annual flat fee that has been split between your third and fourth installments. Therefore, if, for example, you own a single-family property with an annual fee of $100.00, $50.00 has been added to your third installment, due on July 2, 2019 and the remaining $50.00 has been added to your fourth installment, due October 1, 2019.

Starting in 2020, the annual Storm Sewer Fee will be divided between all four installments. Therefore, for a single-family property with an annual Storm Sewer Fee of $100.00, $25.00 will be added to each installment.  

As per By-law No. 6660/24/19 the following fees schedule has been applied to property descriptions:

Property Description

Flat Fee per year

Single Family Properties

$100.00

Multi-residential 2 to 5 units

$175.00

Multi-residential 6 to 9 units

$225.00

Institutional / Multi Res > 10 units

$275.00

Small Commercial

$175.00

Medium Commercial

$225.00

Large Commercial

$275.00

Light Industrial

$375.00

Heavy Industrial

$475.00

City Owned

$225.00

CNPI Owned

$225.00

Hydro One Owned

$225.00

Niagara Peninsula Housing

$275.00

Niagara Region

$225.00

Niagara Regional Housing

$275.00

Transport Canada Owned

$225.00

MTO Owned

$225.00

 

How did we get here?
a background on the development of storm sewer fees

The City of Port Colborne covers an area of approximately 12,380 hectares with an urban area of approximately 2,380 hectares and a population of approximately 19,200.

The City’s storm water collection system is a mix of urban and semi urban design comprised of approximately 96 kilometers of sewers plus a series of roadside ditches and swales. The City’s drainage system has evolved and expanded from the earliest storm pipe installation dating back to 1929. Over the years, many roadside ditches were informally replaced with local storm pipes that were not necessarily designed to any prevailing standard.

In some areas of the city, where basements were susceptible to high water tables and seepage, private sump pumps were installed and directed to the sanitary sewer system. To relieve the pressure on the sanitary collection system and the wastewater treatment plant, it is desirable to redirect those sump pump discharges to the storm water collection system, assuming adequate capacity exists.

In 2014, the Engineering Division completed a Storm Sewer Infrastructure Needs Study (SSINS). This study outlines the Urban Storm Sewer Drainage Area Boundary including the individual Drainage Areas within the boundary. Based on these areas, deficiencies with the existing storm sewer systems were identified and estimated costing for the replacement/upgrade or new construction of storm sewers was calculated. Recommendations for funding strategies were developed through this study.

The SSINS took into account the age of existing infrastructure and examined items such as historical flooding, maintenance issues and other factors in order to prioritize storm sewer replacements. The SSINS provided the estimated replacement costs.

During the 2019 Budget Deliberations, Council considered options for Storm Sewer fees based on the previous Strategic Planning Session held by Council on February 3, 2018. On March 25, 2019 Council approved the following resolution:

That the Corporate Services Department, Finance Division Report 2019-37 be approved; and

That the Storm Sewer budget be approved to be funded through an established flat fee schedule to include an operating/capital budget raising approximately $740,800 annually to fund operations, the current storm sewer debt and establish a storm sewer capital reserve for future infrastructure.

 

Questions regarding your bill?
Tax Department
Call:
905-835-2900 ext. 123 | Email: taxclerk@portcolborne.ca

 

Questions regarding Storm Sewers in the city?
Engineering Division
Call: 
905-835-2900 ext. 233| Email: mathewpilon@portcolborne.ca 

 

 
 
 

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