On Tuesday, June 8, the Charles County Board of Commissioners approved a policy that authorizes Charles County Government to gradually begin maintaining privately-owned stormwater management. The county has identified approximately 100 neighborhoods where the stormwater management systems are privately owned. County staff will prioritize these neighborhoods based on the urgency of need, available funding, the potential for dual benefits, and ensuring equity throughout the county.
“Residential Stormwater Management is one of the most pressing issues that Charles County faces in the long-term, as the infrastructure is aging and there is a lack of maintenance by some private entities such as HOAs,” said County Administrator Mark Belton. “It is an accelerating concern as well because of the more frequent and intense storms events we are realizing due to climate change. This necessitated the county becoming proactive to directly address adaptation issues for pollution abatement, emergency services, health, and other vital community imperatives.”
In order for Charles County Government to take responsibility to repair and maintain residential subdivision stormwater drainage systems, property owners would donate the necessary easements to the county. This would ensure both compliance with the Charles County Storm Drainage Ordinance and the willingness of impacted property owners to participate.
Belton also presented a spending plan for federal funding that the county received from the American Rescue Plan. The plan includes an allocation of $11.2 million to jumpstart this program. Other potential funding sources include the county’s watershed protection and restoration fund; federal, state, and private grants; annual budget surpluses; potentially the American Jobs Plan Act; and Congressional earmarks.
Belton concluded by stating, “This proposal provides a win-win solution for the community. It’s a fiscally responsible approach for taxpayers and provides a sustainable solution for those who are affected by the impacts of aging, privately-owned stormwater management systems.”
More information about the presentation here.