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On November 1, 2011, the Little Elm Town Council adopted Ordinance #1087, implementing the Stormwater Management Program. Beginning January 2012, Little Elm utility bills include a drainage fee associated with the program. The purpose of the fee is to provide more effective stormwater management throughout Little Elm. It will also help protect Lake Lewisville, the community, private property, and the environment from stormwater problems such as pollution, damage to aquatic habitat, creek erosion, and flooding.
Stormwater Utility Services
- Gutter, inlet, and creek debris clean outs
- Infrastructure improvements to mitigate flooding and erosion
- Other drainage and water quality oriented services
- Street sweeping
- Water quality protection
How the Rate is Calculated
Each property’s contribution to the storm collection system is estimated by determining the amount of its impervious area (rooftops, parking lots, and other hard surfaces).
- Commercial properties (apartments, mobile home parks, businesses, etc.) pay $3.35 per month per equivalent residential unit (ERU) of impervious area on the property. For example, a commercial property with 10 times more hard surface than the average residential property would pay $33.50 per month. The Town plans to exempt schools, churches, county, and town properties.
- Residential properties pay a flat rate of $3.35 per month. This rate was developed by measuring the average impervious area for a representative sample of residential properties in Little Elm.
For more information, please contact Development Services Director Fred Gibbs, by calling at 214-975-0471.
Over the past ten years, the town has evolved into an urbanized community. As this development occurred, the town's stormwater infrastructure also expanded. With the construction of more impervious surface areas (buildings and paving), the town's stormwater system has advanced from surface type drainage to an urbanized underground network of inlets, debris separators, drainage pipes, and outfalls.
The larger surface drainage systems that have remained (creeks and streams) have endured more flow with higher velocities, resulting in needed repairs, maintenance, and investment. As with any utility system, long-term operation is sustained by system maintenance that in the past had no revenue source and had largely been deferred.
In addition to system maintenance and stormwater quality management, the town has identified capital improvement needs within the existing system. These are common in all stormwater systems and typically result from increased upstream flows, lack of maintenance in the stormwater system, updated flood studies, and other related items.
State and Federal Mandates
Additionally, pending state and federal mandates require Little Elm to obtain a stormwater permit and manage, regulate, and enforce stormwater quality. As cities grow in population and density, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) require those urbanized areas to be responsible for stormwater quality. This is one of many unfunded mandates local municipalities experience as their population increases.
Stormwater Program Evaluation and Funding Study
In May 2010, the Town Council approved a task order for a Stormwater Program Evaluation and Funding Study with Freese & Nichols, Inc. The Town Council first discussed the need for this study at a December 2009 workshop. Staff presented the results of the stormwater study to the Council at a July 2011 work session. The assessment involved:
o Capital improvement projects needed for stormwater
o Development reviews (drainage ordinance, subdivision ordinance, site plan review process)
o Infrastructure inventory (topography, stream studies, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain, geographic information system (GIS) data, and storm sewer lines)
o Operation and maintenance
o Public outreach
o Regulatory compliance (Phase II MS4 permitting, hazard mitigation plans, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) / Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) erosion control actives, floodplain management)