• Q: What is the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District?

    A:

    The MSD provides several municipal services for the White City, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna, and Copperton metro townships, and for the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County. Services provided by the MSD include the following:

    • Animal Services
    • Engineering Municipal Services
    • Municipal Parks
    • Planning and Development
    • Public Works Operations
  • Q: What benefits do storm water services provide?

    A: Storm water services protect people and property from flooding during storm events. Storm water facilities are also an important roadway management tool because they allow for better roadway design to prolong roadway life.

  • Q: What is a storm water fee?

    A:  A storm water utility fee would be used to pay for storm water related activities such as ongoing maintenance of the storm drain system, storm drain construction projects, street sweeping, and federal regulatory compliance for storm water discharge.

  • Q: Why is a storm water utility fee important?

    A: Currently, MSD expenditures are funded by sales taxes and Class C road funds. However, these revenues are insufficient to cover all of the current MSD operations (roads, storm drain, animal control, etc.). In recent years, the MSD has utilized one-time funding allotments to make up for funding shortages for necessary MSD expenditures. In FY 2019, however, additional one-time funding is not expected to be available. Therefore, the MSD must find additional sources of revenue to make up the difference or significantly reduce services. The most likely sources for additional revenue are property taxes or storm water utility fees. The implementation of a storm water utility fee is being investigated as at least one part of the solution to the funding problem facing the MSD.

  • Q: What is MSD funding currently used for?

    A:  The MSD provides several municipal services for the White City, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna, and Copperton Metro Townships, and the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County. The MSD currently provides the following services:

    • Engineering Municipal Services
      • Storm Water Services
      • Roadway and Transportation Services
    • Municipal Parks
    • Planning and Development
      • Permitting Inspection
      • Business Licenses
      • Code Enforcement
      • Ordinances
      • Zoning Land Use
    • Public Works Operations
      • Street Maintenance
      • Snow Plowing
      • Weed Control
      • Traffic Signals
    • Animal Services
  • Q: Why is a storm water fee important?

    A: Currently, MSD expenditures are funded by sales taxes and Class C road funds. However, these revenues are insufficient to cover all of the current MSD operations (roads, storm drain, animal control, etc.). In recent years, the MSD has utilized one-time funding allotments to make up for funding shortages for necessary MSD expenditures. In FY 2019, however, additional one-time funding is not expected to be available. Therefore, the MSD must find additional sources of revenue to make up the difference or significantly reduce services. The most likely sources for additional revenue are property taxes or storm water utility fees. The implementation of a storm water utility is being investigated as at least one part of the solution to the funding problem facing the MSD.

  • Q: What are the costs of running the storm water system?

    A: Operation and Maintenance ($0.80M/year): This category includes regular repairs, street sweeping, pipe cleaning, and removal of debris from catch basins and detention structures.

    MS4 Compliance ($0.66M/year): In recent years, the EPA has instituted more stringent requirements for storm drain systems. These requirements are outlined in the MSD’s MS4 permit. MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Water Sewer System.  MS4 compliance activities include construction inspection, code enforcement, and water quality testing.

    Capital Expenditures ($ 1.60M/year): Capital expenditures include the construction of facilities to capture storm water and keep it from damaging property. This includes pipes, catch basins, culverts, and detention structures . Capital expenditures include both the initial construction of these facilities as well as their eventual replacement once they reach the end of their useful life.

  • Q: Will the fee be used for anything other than storm water improvements?

    A: No, revenue collected through the storm water fee can only be used for storm water utility activities.

  • Q: What is MS4 Permit Compliance?

    A: MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Water Sewer System. This refers to drainage systems that are not treated in a sewage treatment plant (nearly all storm water systems in the western US (including the MSD’s) fall into this category). The EPA sets standards for storm water runoff to reduce the discharge of pollutants from MS4’s into surface waters such as rivers and streams. To maintain MS4 Permit Compliance, the city must create and follow through with a plan to adhere to storm water quality standards. Compliance includes litter prevention and cleanup, public education and involvement, regular water testing, code enforcement, and other pollution monitoring and prevention activities. The County is currently in compliance with all MS4 permit requirements.

  • Q: Do other Utah governments have a Storm Water fee?

    A: Yes, many areas within Utah, and nearly all cities within Salt Lake County, have already instituted a storm water utility.

    The two figures below indicate which Salt Lake County areas have a storm water utility fee and the current fee amount per residential lot. (Click on map/graph below to see a larger version)

  • Q: What are the advantages of implementing a storm water fee vs raising taxes?

    A: Advantages include the following:

    • Currently, only those who pay taxes contribute to storm water utility system installation and maintenance. As a result, government buildings, churches, and schools do not pay for storm water systems, even though their large parking lots and building structures produce relatively high amounts of runoff. A storm water utility is seen as a more fair system because these entities, along with all residential and commercial users, each pay to help maintain the storm water system from which they benefit.
    • Property taxes are based on property value, utilities fees are based on to the amount of water the respective property contributes to storm water runoff. Thus, the amount each user pays under a storm water utility will be more representative of the benefit they gain from the system.
    • Having a separate funding stream for the storm water system means that it will not compete with other services (especially road maintenance) for funding. This provides two distinct benefits:
      • Funding from the storm water utility will be used solely for storm water system activities. This will help ensure that the storm water system will be adequately funded.
      • Having the storm water system funded independently will leave more funding available for roads and other activities of the MSD.

    TAXES WITHOUT UTILITY:TAXES WITH UTILITY

  • Q: My property is not connected to the storm drain? Why would I pay the fee if I am not using it?

    A: Storm water systems are designed to mitigate storm effects both up- and downstream of the physical storm drain pipes, gutters, basins, etc. This means there is cost associated with federal regulatory compliance for storm water discharge even when there is not a storm drain connected to a specific property.

    Storm drain systems also provide drainage on the roads we all use to get to work, school, etc. Therefore, even those whose property is not directly connected to the storm drain still receive the benefits of having a storm drainage system in the area.

  • Q: How much will the fee cost?

    A: The MSD project team is currently performing a rate analysis that will set the fee at the level required to cover the MSD’s storm water related expenses. When this analysis is complete, this website will be updated to show the proposed fee. It is expected that the fee will be similar to other fees currently charged in neighboring entities.

    The fees currently charged by nearby entities are shown here. The fee is in terms of monthly cost per residential lot

  • Q: Who would impose the storm water fee?

    A: The metro townships would impose the storm drain utility fee (along with the county for the unincorporated areas) and the MSD would use the revenue to provide the service.

  • ** Contact Us **