On Tuesday, December 5th, the City Council of Peoria approved a historic stormwater utility ordinance that will create an annual revenue stream to manage the municipal storm drainage infrastructure system. In the first year, the utility will provide 8 million dollars of new revenue that is exclusively dedicated to storm drainage infrastructure. The success of that vote stems in large part from CMT’s efforts and is a case study in level of professional influence we can provide our clients in addressing their biggest challenges.
The story begins with the successful selection of CMT in 2015 to develop a Stormwater Master Plan led by Eric Hansen. That project allowed us to quantify the backlog of stormwater infrastructure needs and predict the life cycle needs to manage the system in perpetuity. The urgency was driven in large part by the community’s Combined Sewer Overflow issues and a pending Consent Decree being negotiated with the USEPA. CMT and its team partners also led a robust public engagement initiative to build awareness and educate the public, most importantly its elected officials resistant to any added fees or taxes.
Beyond the plan, CMT professionals worked with city staff and the Mayor to show how a stormwater utility would work. A major challenge has been creating a pro-active storm drainage program within a Public Works Department that has been operating stormwater management as an emergency repair program. The new program will more than double the existing one just in the first year.
CMT staff has provided, and continues to provide, advice on such things as administration, data and GIS management, policy code alignment and enforcement, condition assessment, rate structure, and fee collection. Providing a credible framework and building the confidence of the city staff and its elected officials has been instrumental in the successful vote.
CMT’s efforts to get the City to this place has been received very well. We are positioned to provide ongoing program management services and play a key role in much of the design and construction work that now has the green light to be executed as a result. Congratulations to the CMT team members across the firm that have contributed to this success for the City of Peoria. Our investment in Peoria has not gone unnoticed.