The city of Moscow is expected to start assessing a monthly stormwater utility fee Oct. 1 to residents and business owners who receive stormwater services, but some will qualify for waivers or credits based on how much burden they place on the city’s stormwater system.

“They’re a great way to incentivize and reward activities … that reduce the cost to provide services and also recognize those customers that lessen their burden on our stormwater control system,” Moscow Environmental Services Manager Kyle Steele said of the proposed waivers and credits.

Steele outlined to the Moscow City Council Administrative Committee on Monday the 10 groups that would receive the stormwater user fee credits and waivers, if approved by the City Council.

They include nonuse, vacant undeveloped property, on-site gravel areas, K-12 educational activities, direct discharger, on-site retention/treatment equivalent, municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permit, public roads, publicly owned buildings and facilities and public parks, open space, trails and paths.

Nonuse, which includes developed real property, vacant undeveloped property, public roads, publicly owned buildings and facilities and public parks, open space, trails and paths would receive a 100 percent waiver applied to the entire property or on the impervious service area that does not discharge off site.

On-site gravel areas, or customers with uncompacted gravel, would receive as much as 50 percent credit applied to qualifying gravel areas and a 100 percent waiver would be applied to qualifying gravel landscaped areas.

K-12 schools that provide educational activities centered on watershed pollution and protection and increase awareness about surface and groundwater resources, the effects of urbanization on these resources and encourage students to be lifelong stewards of the area’s precious natural resources would receive a 20 percent credit applied to impervious service areas.

Direct dischargers to natural waterways that do not enter a city storm pipe or ditch would receive a 20 percent credit applied to that portion of impervious service area that direct discharges.

On-site retention/treatment equivalent customers who retain, infiltrate or otherwise prevent a significant amount of runoff from leaving their property or implement treatment requirements would receive credit of waiver of up to 100 percent.

Those with an MS4 permit would receive a 20 percent credit applied to impervious service areas.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Permit to the city and it took effect in 2019.

In February, the Moscow City Council approved an ordinance that adds a chapter to city code allowing the city to establish stormwater utility fees to fund and carry out the requirements of the federally-mandated permit.

The administrative committee on Monday recommended adopting the stormwater user fee credits and waivers and the item will be on the City Council’s regular agenda next Monday.

In other business, the committee recommended:

Approval of a sidewalk cafe proposal by One World Cafe.

Approval of $2,000 to purchase bicycle helmets for this year’s Lee Newbill Safety Fair.

Forwarding a proposed amended ordinance that would allow “up-lighting” so outdoor public art is more visible at night for a public hearing at Monday’s council meeting.

Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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