Commissioners to take up stormwater utility conversation

Apr 03, 2023

At an April 19 special meeting, the Board of Commissioners will receive recommendations related to the possibility of establishing a stormwater utility. The recommendations come from a task force of 13 Rehoboth Beach stakeholders, all property owners, who have been considering the issue over the past year.

A stormwater utility would provide a dedicated funding stream for the city’s stormwater-related operations, maintenance, and anticipated capital projects. According to a feasibility study crafted by engineering consulting firm AECOM, a utility is “considered the most equitable way to apportion fees for funding a stormwater program.”

Task Force Chair and Commissioner Jay Lagree says: “It is essential that the city find a way to ensure that funding remains available for continued stormwater operations and maintenance. These expenses are becoming increasingly difficult to cover through the city’s existing budget and yet, with climate change and more frequent and severe storms, it also is becoming increasingly important to manage stormwater effectively. We all contribute to stormwater runoff and issues, and so we all need to be part of the solution.”

Poor stormwater management, according to AECOM’s report, can lead to strains on built drainage infrastructure, drainage problems, flooding, damage to public and private property, erosion of streambanks, pollution of waterways, and a potential increase in water treatment costs.

The April 19 presentation and special meeting will take place at 9 am on the second floor of City Hall. Members of the public will have opportunities to ask questions and offer feedback.

The Stormwater Utility Task Force includes Rehoboth Beach residents and a current business owner. Several members are former or current elected municipal officials from Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.

Stay Informed!