The City of Salem provides its residents with a variety of stormwater services including drainage system maintenance, flooding response, regulatory compliance, capital improvements, street sweeping, and much more.
Historically, Salem's stormwater services have been paid for by the City's wastewater (sewer) ratepayers. However, there is no relationship between wastewater fees paid by the ratepayers and the stormwater services received. In December 2010, City Council approved creation of a stormwater utility and implementation of a separate stormwater rate that more equitably relates the stormwater fees to the stormwater services received. The stormwater utility will not provide a new source of revenue, but will represent a more fair way of recovering the costs for stormwater services, services that are already being provided by the City.
The ordinance establishing the creation of a stormwater utility includes two provisions for initial implementation: (1) first day of the month following one full quarter during which the Salem Metropolitan Service Area unemployment figure was 7 percent or less; or (2) January 1, 2013, whichever occurs first. When implemented, stormwater will be included as a separate line item on utility bills. The stormwater fee will be phased in over four rate cycles, which will take a total of three years to complete. During the phasing-in period, ratepayers will see adjustments that decrease their wastewater charges as the new stormwater fee is incorporated into the billing statement.
Read more about the stormwater utility in the Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions, and other materials in the Additional Information Section.
For more information, contact Mike Gotterba, Public Information Officer, at 503-588-6211.