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 has been paid for by the City's wastewater (sewer) rate payers. However, there is no relationship between wastewater fees paid by the rate payers 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 does not provide a new source of revenue, but represents 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 delayed initial implementation until January 1, 2013. When implemented, the stormwater fee was phased in over four rate cycles, which took a total of three years to complete. Since 2016 we are at full implementation of the stormwater fee.
The stormwater collection system that must be maintained consists of more than:
- 85 miles of ditches
- 90 miles of streams
- 420 miles of pipe
- 900 detention basins
- 22,000 storm drainage structures
Salem’s stormwater programs include a variety of activities and projects, such as:
- Stormwater system operation and maintenance
- Stormwater quality and monitoring
- Public education and involvement
- Street sweeping
- Stream cleaning
- Spill response
- Municipal regulations
- Stormwater complaint response
- Capital projects