Can we “ding” the property owners for defunct systems that contribute problems?
can be considered for incentives to make sure someone is responsible for
maintaining the basins.
Was the 2017 storm considered a “100-year” storm? And how often have those actually happened?
parts of the City, specifically the northwest quadrant, the 2017 flooding
certainly qualified as a 100-year event or greater. But not all the city was
affected to that degree. We have had widespread flooding in May of 2008, 2011,
some in 2015, and 2017. Again not all were 100-year events, but may have
resulted in 100-year or near-100-year flooding in parts of the City.
How much better will the flooding situation be if we opt for Option C?
City will certainly be more flood resilient.
We may require that some systems surpass safety levels for a 100+-year
If the City takes over maintenance of drainage features on private property, does the City then become liable for flooding of private property caused by the failure of those features?
We hope that the City’s increased maintenance program would
prevent that. We will need to seek clarification from the City Attorney about
Will the fee be added to the utility payment or as a property tax?
of the program and the manner in which it is funded remain to be determined. In
March, the consultants will marry the program costs with the potential revenue
and prepare a feasibility study to demonstrate the impact of the potential
Will property owners be able to look at the map to determine the square footage of their impervious areas?
Yes, we will make our GIS map available online.
How do you determine the degree of imperviousness and how often will it be assessed?
identifying rooftops, roads, driveways, private sidewalks and the square
footage of each on a parcel basis as shown via current aerial photography. This data will be maintained in an ongoing
How confident can we be that basins were correctly designed in the first place?
We are only confident in those that were designed under some
of the newer regulations which require as-builts and certifications from the
Engineer of Record that the basin was constructed as designed. These requirements date somewhere back to the
late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Why would a POA NOT take care of their own ponds?
POA’s sometimes go defunct and quit collecting fees from
Will the fee replace the Capital Improvement Program?
No, there will always be a CIP from the general fund but
those projects come and go as City Council priorities. But the difference is a stormwater fee MUST be
used only on stormwater projects.
How does infill within the city affect the issue of stormwater maintenance?
should be no net increase. The ongoing watershed analysis should keep this flat
going forward, but some infills are not covered under the drainage manual.
Why did other cities opt to enact stormwater fees?
not sure about all of them, but Hot Springs had severe flooding downtown. Their
fees went partly toward a flood warning system that includes rain gauges in the
mountains that can trigger evacuation notices. Others are in similar situations to
Fayetteville in that they wish to be more proactive with maintenance and
Are there any cities of similar size to compare us to?
there are examples of other University towns of similar size outside the state
that are shown in the presentation. A
Western Kentucky University Stormwater Utility Study from 2016 shows a total of
1500 stormwater utilities across the nation.
Will there be a board or commission set up to operate the programs implemented by the stormwater fee?
majority of the work will be managed at the staff level but there will need to
be some sort of appeals process at some level. It is likely to be similar to
how the water utility is arbitrated to ensure good customer service practices. This will be discussed later when
implementation is defined should the fee be adopted.
Could the stormwater fee, if implemented, be used to buy land?
Yes, one of the items being considered is a floodplain
buyout. Also, there are potential
matching grant dollars from FEMA should the city use that approach.
Based on the current water in the system, are regulations being built in to allow for future development and to have more stringent controls.
new regulations came into place in 2014 with the adoption of the Drainage
Criteria manual that are used during our development review process.
What dams is the City responsible to maintain?
Dams at Lakes Fayetteville, Wilson, and Sequoyah.
What is the difference between a stormwater fee and the potential $15 million dollar bond currently being proposed for drainage improvement projects?
What do we mean by regulatory compliance?
Both the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the
Federal EPA maintain regulations regarding the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer
System (commonly referred to as MS4).
These are documented in the City’s Stormwater Management Plan that can
be found here: http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1689/Stormwater-Management-Plan-PDF?bidId=
The Clean Water Act is the basis for many of these
regulations. Remember we are not just
talking about regulatory matters, but also human health and safety issues as
well as property protection.
Can a homeowner negotiate drainage easements on older developments?
Possibly, if the city has identified the areas as one that
is a chronic issue. The guidelines to
accept these issues are yet to be developed but will be ongoing discussions
within this study.
How does a property owner know if the city owns easements on my land?
This information would have been made available to a
property buyer during a title search, but if there is uncertainty, the city’s
Land Records GIS map at this site can be used to determine the status. These are not all encompassing but could
begin to give an owner an idea of the easements on their property:
What quality of dirt (clay) does the city use for backfill?
general, we follow the standard guidelines set forth by the City for either
stormwater or water and sewer services.
Will the fee structure reflect imperviousness and slope and site-specific soils and drainage needs?
This program will solely be based on impervious areas within
each parcel. The City has other means
(regulations) to get to the grading issues on a specific site.
Can a property owner get retroactive credit for cisterns or other rainwater detention projects?
is possible, but in order to make sure it is functioning, the city will need to
have an inspection or certification process. The City will need to balance the
need for recognizing efforts to reduce impact while not creating a program in
which a large portion is spent on administration.
In the potential credit program, if a developer builds detention ponds, who gets the credit?
The homeowner would, provided it is demonstrated to be a
functioning detention pond. The cost of the detention pond would typically be
built into the cost of the home in a residential setting.
How does a credit program work?
programs are put in place to recognize the efforts of property owners that
reduce their impacts and provide incentives for property owners to do specific
things to lessen their impact on drainage.
The credit program would be customized for our community.
Are there savings associated with taking Option C?
the City and private citizens will be saving, but it’s hard to say how much. In
terms of public savings, in the 2017 flood, the largest damage was at Mt.
Kessler, where slope failure cost around $1 million. Certainly, a more flood resilient town would
be savings to our residents.
Since the current maintenance system is complaint-based, is that potentially biased against low-income or low-education residents who might not make that call?
That bias could exist. We are making efforts to educate people to let us know about problems
wherever they occur.
If a stormwater fee is implemented, what will it cover?
The fee must be directly related to the services
provided. All fees collected can only be
used for stormwater items directly related to our storm drainage system. This could include routine operation and
maintenance, capital projects, water quality projects, stream restoration
projects, flood preventions/mitigation and similar type activities.
Does the City have proactive (inspection) as well as reactive (problem reporting) stormwater management today?
the portion of the storm drain system the City maintains, public rights-of-way
and drainage easement, the maintenance is largely reactive currently. We rely on citizens to notify the
Transportation Division of problems, so they can be addressed. There are certain problem areas that the City
does proactively inspect but that is generally limited to small portions of the
system and directly ahead of forecast large rain events.
What is a drainage easement?
easement that gives the City the right to access private property to perform
maintenance on drainage pipes, ditches, creeks, or streams that are located on
private property but are managed by the City.