News - Jewell Engineering Wraps Up Chapel Hill Stormwater Program Master Plan

Town of Chapel Hill  Stormwater Program Master Plan

December, 2014 - The Chapel Hill Town Council recently approved and adopted a Stormwater Management Program Master Plan. The Program Master Plan was developed by JEWELL Engineering Consultants and was the product of a multi-year planning effort between JEWELL, the Town’s Stormwater Program staff, and the Town of Chapel Hill Stormwater Management Utility Advisory Board.

As summarized by Sue Burke, who heads the Town’s Stormwater Management Program, “The mission of the Town’s stormwater program is to protect the health and safety of not only the residents, but also the ecosystem, addressing both stormwater quality and quantity and meeting or exceeding state and federal regulations.” The Master Plan was developed based on the mission and ten specific goals for the stormwater program, with strategic initiatives scheduled to be added to ongoing program functions as the master plan is implemented. Seven key measures have been designated for tracking of program success and as a basis for future program adjustments and adaptive management. Two different implementation schedules and financial scenarios, including program budgets and associated stormwater utility fee levels, were outlined in the Master Plan. The scenarios clearly indicated that “a significant increase in the stormwater utility funding is warranted in light of the impending requirements of the Jordan Lake Rules, as well as ongoing needs to address issues associated deteriorating infrastructure and flooding concerns.” In 2013, the Town Council adopted an initial stormwater utility fee increase in accordance with one of the proposed Master Plan schedules. The financial analysis spreadsheet tool, developed as the basis for comparison of financial scenarios, should facilitate an annual update for the financial forecasts and serve as the basis for funding recommendations to Town Council.