Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility

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).

Funding Study

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 will begin in June 2018 and 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

Advisory Committee

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
Todd Citron
Geographic
Thomas Dales
Geographic
Harry (Skip) Johnsen
Geographic
Nathaniel Washington


Meetings

A project kickoff 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 October. 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

Issue papers will be introduced prior to committee discussion at the following meeting. Interested public are encouraged to review the issue papers in advance and submit written comments related that topic at the appropriate meeting. See schedule below.

Meeting DateIssue Paper IntroducedIssue Discussion
June 6, 2018#1 - Fiscal Policies
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
n/a
June 20, 2018#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits#1 - Fiscal Policies
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
August 1, 2018#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits
August 20, 2018#5 - Implementation Strategy#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges
September 19, 2018n/a#5 - Implementation Strategy

Fiscal Policies Draft May 30, 2018
Rate Structure Alternatives Draft June 4, 2018

Submit Comments or Questions

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 or follow up action taken is posted below. This document will be updated periodically throughout the funding study as additional questions and comments are received.  

Public Comments & Questions

Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Funding Study public comments and questions with response as of May 31, 2018

LW_SW_utility resized