Stormwater Department Overview

The HBPW Stormwater Department was created in September 2017, and is still under development. Identifying and establishing a sustainable source of funding is a top priority for the department. We strive to provide the best service within our abilities, while we continue efforts in securing a reliable funding solution.

It is the department’s intent to keep the public educated and informed as this utility develops. A knowledgeable community is crucial for a successful stormwater management program. We will post updates, or you can contact us with any questions you may have.

STORMWATER HISTORY:

Since the 1960’s the HBPW has been maintaining underground stormwater systems (storm sewers) and the Public Works Department of the City has been maintaining the above ground stormwater infrastructure. The City funded any repairs from the General Fund and the HBPW used sanitary sewer funds to make any essential infrastructure repairs. Neither funding mechanism provides enough dollars to maintain the system adequately or to meet existing quality regulations, which will likely continue to get more stringent. The engineering firm, Burns and McDonnell conducted a stormwater study in 2005 titled Storm Water Master Plan, and identified the need for a reliable stormwater funding source at that time. One option the study provided was to adopt a stormwater user fee program by creating a stormwater utility. The study also recommended the development of a capital improvement program in the range of $9.5 to $16 million to address stormwater needs in the community. Nothing was done with the recommendation at that time.

In 2015-2016, the HBPW and City began receiving and influx of storm sewer issues.  Temporary steel plates were installed on holes in City roadways directly above failed portions of the storm sewers.  Other roadways were completely barricaded off because they could not be driven on safely.  The repairs costs estimates were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The HBPW and City coordinated efforts, but even together could not afford the necessary repairs.  The HBPW installed more steel plates on roadways while continuing to access the repair costs.  Eventually there were about a dozen of these plates installed throughout the City covering the failed storm sewers below.

This resulted in the City Council passing a resolution in June of 2017, authorizing the HBPW to implement a stormwater utility and comprehensive stormwater repair program.  Within the resolution, section 1 reads:

“The Hannibal Board of Public Works is hereby authorized and directed to establish a stormwater utility pursuant to the existing Home Rule Charter provisions, and a comprehensive stormwater repair program and initiative thereof to repair structurally-unsound stormwater infrastructure and address stormwater problems throughout the Hannibal community”.

At their September 2017 Board meeting, The HBPW’s Board of Director’s approved a contract with the engineering firm Black and Veatch for designing a sustainable funding source. After meeting with engineers through a series of workshops, staff and Board members determined a stormwater utility fee is appropriate for the City of Hannibal as it offers fair, equitable, transparent, and steady revenue to manage stormwater runoff:

  • Fair – All properties that contribute runoff to the stormwater system will pay to fund the system.
  • Equitable –Since every property generates runoff and benefits from the infrastructure in place, the utility model represents an equitable method to collect revenue from those who place a higher demand on the stormwater management system.
  • Transparent – The fees collected are used solely for stormwater activities and accounted for separately.
  • Steady – Provides a dependable revenue stream to provide sufficient revenues for stormwater improvements, and allow for proactive management of the system resulting in the lowest cost over time.

At the December 2018 Board of Director’s Meeting, Black & Veatch presented a fee of $1.39/per 500 square foot of impervious area as a dedicated source of revenue for the Stormwater Department. The fee was a result of details work through with HBPW staff over a period of the previous fourteen months.  The development of the fee was broken into two components, financial and the impervious area within the City Limits.  The financial component centered around development of the services to be provided and the cost associated with providing these services.  The impervious area in the City Limits was determined utilizing available data from both the Marion and Ralls Counties’ GIS databases.  The fee was then calculated by dividing the associated financial requirements by the amount of impervious area that would be billed. A Proposition was developed and placed on the ballot by the City Council allowing citizens to decide if they wanted to receive these services.  Information was presented to citizens at public meetings, and local community groups throughout the months of February and March leading into the April election. Some of the information that was provided at these meetings can be found at Hannibal's Story Boards. On April 2, 2019 citizens of Hannibal voted down Proposition S with 1,128 no votes, to 1,116 yes votes.

For now, the HBPW will continue to secure infrastructure problems temporarily with a combination of steel plates and other precautions to ensure the safety of those living and driving in these areas. The Stormwater Department will continue to prioritize MS4 water quality regulations. Staff is consulting with the HBPW Board of Directors and City Council concerning the next steps in securing a reliable funding solution.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE, REGULATIONS AND ORDINANCES

The City of Hannibal is regulated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to operate our stormwater conveyance system under Missouri's Small MS4 Permit, in compliance under the federal NPDES Phase II, MS4 Permit. This permit requires a written stormwater management plan (SWMP) establishing programs that reduce pollutants through public education and outreach, reduction of illicit discharges, maintenance of construction site runoff, and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs).

In 2016, a federal mandate was passed obligating MS4s to submit annual progress reports to their regulating agency (MDNR for Hannibal); as well as requiring agencies to develop an auditing process to prove compliance.  The City has had the required written 2013 SWMP for compliance; however, little action was taken as laid out in the plan, as reported in the 2016 STORMWATER ANNUAL REPORT.  The MS4 permit requires a progress report to be submitted bi-annually.  You can read more about the HBPW's progress in the 2018 ANNUAL REPORT.  This most recent report covers all stormwater activities within the city of Hannibal from January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018.

Accomplishing compliance was one of the first tasks of the Stormwater Department after City Council passed the resolution for HBPW to develop a stormwater utility. Staff worked together to produce a new stormwater management plan, and submitted that plan to MDNR in May 2018. We are waiting to receive approval and comments for the draft 2018 SWMP.

As explained in the SWMP, the City's current stormwater ordinances need updated.  The Stormwater Department is currently working on draft ordinances to bring local regulations up to date for state standards.

 EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

Stormwater management includes educating and involving all citizens in learning about our stormwater system, local water resources, watershed management, how we affect water quality, and what we can do to minimize pollution and damage.

We have education materials that we present to classrooms and community meetings to bring awareness to the community. If you or your organization is interested in scheduling a presentation, please contact us.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT

Public participation and involvement is an important aspect to the stormwater program. We rely on volunteers to realize and spread the word on the importance of keeping our streets and runoff as clean as possible. Volunteers of all ages and groups participate in our annual cleanups. These are fun events that encourage cleaning up our community. You can read more about stream team and our events by visiting the Stream Team page.