Greencastle property owners have received their first bills for the borough's new stormwater pollutant impact fee and last week borough council approved two ways people may be able to reduce them — a credit program and an appeals process.
The fee is designed to fund water clean-up requirements under the borough's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit and other stormwater management projects in Greencastle.
The impact fee is $5.36 per $100 square feet of impervious area and the average annual residential fee is about $43 per quarter or just over $172 a year. The Greencastle-Antrim School District has the largest impervious area, including roofs and parking lots, and is looking at around $47,000 a year.
"The community certainly isn't thrilled," said Eden Ratliff, borough manager.
However, Ratliff said people have been understanding, some knew it was coming and others were shocked. The borough office has received over 100 calls or many visitors concerning the stormwater feee.
There are three ways property owners can earn credits toward their stormwater fees — attendance at meetings, putting up rain barrels and plant trees. The maximum credit is 10 percent per quarter.
The borough will hold education meetings twice per quarter. Meetings will include information on stormwater and best management practices, as well as questions and answers. Credit: $20 per quarter or 10 percent of quarterly fee, whichever is less.
Rain barrels may be used to collect and filter stormwater. Permits and inspections are required. Credit: $30 per barrel (two maximum) or 10 percent per quarter, whichever is less.
Trees must be meet the borough shade tree commission regulations and be on its list of approved trees. Credit: $50 per tree or 10 percent quarterly fee, whichever is less.
Property owners need to file an application with the borough to be eligible for credits.
Property owners who think the impervious area of their property has been calculated incorrectly can file an appeal. It is the property owner's responsibility to demonstrate the calculation is incorrect with an Impervious Area Adjustment Appeal Form accompanied by mapping from a certified professional.
The form must be accompanied by $500, which will be used for costs incurred during the evaluation of the appeal.
If the appeal is successful and the impervious area changed, the property owner's fee will be adjusted and the $500 returned.
"We don't think this level of challenge will be from most people. Most just want information," Ratliff said.
Additional information is available by calling the borough office at 717-597-7143 or visiting the website: