Student Presentations

As the students continue to work on their projects, when possible they are asked to present their work product to the appropriate governing bodies.   Two presentations were made this week, for example.

The first one was by Ben and Karen who were assigned the task of generating revenue ideas for county land conservation along with working on stormwater mitigation. The presentation was made to the County Land Conservation Commission. From their research they developed the following options:

1.  Continue with no funds,

2.  Increased request from Tax Levy,

3. Increase permit fees,

4. Pursue Adaptive Management (watershed management),

5. Charging additional fees for program inspections using Brown County's example, or

6. Establish a Stormwater Utility that generates Fee

They decided to recommend option 6, and here is their proposal and justification:

Why?  ¨Some surfaces prevent water (rain or melting snow) from seeping into the ground. Because of this, large amounts of water accumulate above the surface. This water will run off before eventually entering into our lakes, rivers and streams.

Who Benefits?  ¨Whole public: Cleaner drinking water, greater preparation against flash floods, decreases pollution, ¨Farmers: This fund acts as a “reserve” for farmers, ¨Towns: For financial assistance in stormwater projects and ordinance compliance, Fishermen/lake users: Lake rehabilitation possible, Ex. Lake Altoona, and ¨LCD: A source of revenue to complete these projects.

The Specific Proposal to be put to the voters as a referendum:  ¨A referendum asking for a payment of stormwater service according to the square footage of impervious land: Should the Stormwater Utility Fee of $0.10-0.40/month per household be initiated effective Spring 2014 to support conservation efforts such as lake rehabilitation, agricultural improvements, reducing water pollution and prevention of flash floods?

Definitions:  “Impervious surface” means: An area that releases all or a large portion of the precipitation that falls on it, except for frozen soil (Title 17): Conventional rooftops and asphalt, driveways, parking lots and streets are typical examples of impervious surfaces, Typical gravel driveways and other examples listed shall be considered impervious unless specifically designed to encourage infiltration or storage of runoff, and Sidewalks and roads were not included in this case study.

The higher contribution of stormwater runoff, the higher proportion of payment through a tiered system of payment, and landowners may receive credit for displaying conservation efforts on their lands via infiltration systems.  Examples include (residential): Rain barrels, green roofs, rain gardens.  For agricultural land,  “Infiltration system” meanns a device or practice such as a basin, trench, rain garden or swale designed specifically to encourage infiltration, but does not include natural infiltration in pervious surfaces such as lawns, redirecting of rooftop downspouts onto lawns or minimal infiltration from practices, such as swales or road side channels designed for conveyance and pollutant removal only.

Credit up to 100% of Stormwater Utility fee back to property owner is possible depending on the type of conservation practice that is used.

Anticipated Revenue:  $31,436 for conservation purposes.

Anticipated Effects:  ¨Minimal average cost for citizens, $0.10-.40/month = $1.20-4.80/year, 100% of revenue will be used for stormwater conservation efforts, Rehabilitation of lakes, ease persistent flooding, Reduce amount of pollution from runoff, Reserve for farmers and towns.

There were lots of questions, and some opposition from the members of the Commission, but Ben and Karen responded and look forward to seeing how the proposal is dealt with by the County.

The second presentation was made by Terrence to the City Council.   He was tasked with developing a "Travel and Training Policy" for the members of the Council as well as Chairs of the City's various citizen commissions.   Here he is making the presentation and answering questions from members of Council.  They all praised him for his good research and understanding of the issues, as well as his lucid presentation, and then voted unanimously to approve the policy.  To view his presentation, click on the following link:  His presentation begins at 34:48 and the vote is taken at about 58:00.