In December 2017, the Whatcom County Council established the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area (Ordinance 2017-076) under the authority of RCW 36.89 to provide a mechanism to fund efforts to clean up and protect Lake Whatcom. Existing funding sources are not sufficient to meet current and future Lake Whatcom program needs to comply with the state-mandated reductions in phosphorus to meet federal Clean Water Act requirements. The Service Area includes the entire unincorporated Lake Whatcom watershed (see map below).
Whatcom County Public Works is conducting a study to evaluate funding and stormwater fee rate structure options for the new stormwater utility service area. The funding study began in June 2018 and is expected to take a minimum of six months to complete. Stakeholder input and recommendations will be provided through a citizen advisory committee. Interested public may attend advisory committee meetings and provide comments to the committee for their consideration. For more information about the funding study and answers to frequently asked questions, read the funding study summary. A new frequently asked questions page for this site is under development. Check back in August.
A citizen advisory committee was selected by Whatcom County Council on May 8, 2018. The purpose of the committee is to represent rate payers in the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area and advise Whatcom County Public Works staff and the Whatcom County Council on recommended rate structure options and a funding mechanism. Committee members will serve until the council adopts a rate structure, at which time the committee will dissolve. Committee members are listed below. For more information and to read the resolution establishing the committee visit the Whatcom County Council Boards and Commissions page.
|Sudden Valley Representative||Laurence Brown|
|Geographic||Harry (Skip) Johnsen|
A project kickoff public meeting was held on April 18, 2018 to provide information on the new Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area and funding study process. The first advisory committee meeting was held on June 6, and additional meetings have been scheduled through the fall. Visit the meetings page for additional details, scheduled future meeting dates, and links to meeting documents from past and upcoming meetings.
To be notified of future meetings, visit the Notify Me page, follow the directions to create a profile, then sign up to receive email or text message notifications from the Public Works Stormwater Calendar.
Issue papers are an important part of the funding study. These papers will outline different issues with relevant information on state and county codes, policies, cost, and feasibility. The purpose of the papers is to provide the information needed for the committee to consider the issue and make a recommendation on that specific issue for the stormwater fee rate structure. Issue papers will be introduced prior to committee discussion at a following meeting. Interested public are encouraged to review the issue papers and submit written comments related that topic. See draft schedule below. Note the schedule is subject to change as the committee progresses through the funding study process.
|Meeting Date||Issue Paper Introduced||Issue Discussion|
|June 6, 2018||#1 - Fiscal Policies|
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
|June 20, 2018||n/a||#1 - Fiscal Policies|
|August 1, 2018||n/a||#1 - Fiscal Policies|
|August 20, 2018||#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits||#1 - Fiscal Policies|
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
|September 5, 2018||#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges||#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives|
#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits
|September 19, 2018||n/a||#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits|
#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges
|November 14, 2018||n/a||#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges|
Send your comments or questions to LWStormwaterUtility@co.whatcom.wa.us. Staff will respond to questions and forward comments to the advisory committee for consideration. Advisory committee meetings are open to the public with designated public comment periods. Written comments are encouraged. A table listing all public questions and comments received with a response is posted below. This document will be updated periodically throughout the funding study as additional questions and comments are received.