Frequently Asked Questions
Impervious surface areas like rooftops, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, sheds, and other hard surfaces that don’t allow stormwater to do what it normally does — soak into the ground or reach trees and plants.
The stormwater utility fee is based on the amount of impervious surface area on a property. Each billing unit will be set per 2,410 square feet of impervious area. This value represents the amount of impervious area on an average residential property in the Borough.
Stormwater Credit Manual & Application
Borough Council believes a stormwater utility fee is the right option for Carlisle for a number of reasons:
- A fair solution:The fee would be based on the amount of runoff you contribute to the system. This approach, rather than increasing property tax (which has no relation to the runoff that a property contributes), is the most equitable way to fund the stormwater program.
- Competition for funds:The Borough currently funds a portion of stormwater management through the General Fund. Many important programs are also funded through the General Fund and these different priorities — roads, fire, police and parks — compete with one another for these limited funds. A dedicated funding stream would ensure that the appropriate amount of monetary support and attention was given to our wet weather needs.
- Accountability and transparency:Because user fees are dedicated to funding specific programs, citizens can see exactly how the Borough is using the revenues that are collected.
Not only will we have the funding needed to repair crucial infrastructure and meet regulatory requirements of our state-issued stormwater permit, we will be able to beautify and strengthen our community. A stormwater utility will help us create and maintain green infrastructure like rain gardens, permeable pavers, bioswales, and more. These elements have co-benefits, including:
- Healthier streams, rivers, and wildlife: Rainfall and snowmelt pick up whatever chemical compounds and/or trash lie on pavement and flow directly into our creeks and streams. A stormwater utility could help us restore the natural hydrologic function we disrupted with pavement and other impervious surface and would slow, cleanse, and recharge groundwater once again. This reversal would not only benefit people but also the animals and fish that rely on those water sources.
- Less flooding: A stormwater utility could help Carlisle afford more infrastructure to manage precipitation events and maintain existing infrastructure to prevent flooding from pollution-clogged inlets. In addition, green infrastructure could help absorb and retain water, lessening the occurrence of flooding.
- Positive economic impact: We could increase surrounding property values by improving public rights-of-way and repurposing vacant/blighted lots. We could also spur reinvestment and increase economic activity, including tourism, for nearby businesses by creating green spaces and roads that encourage multiple types of transportation.
- Employment opportunities: A portion of the stormwater utility could be used for green infrastructure maintenance, which would provide a scale and scope of design and construction work that could be met by local companies. Green infrastructure could create a demand for workforce training and education to build capacity for these public and private jobs.
- Crime mitigation: We could create landscape designs that maintain sight lines, define public and private spaces, control access, and encourage residents to spend time outside interacting and building stronger community ties.