The City of Spokane Valley has experienced significant population increase in recent years and is subject to increasing regulatory requirements for stormwater. Having not increased their stormwater utility fee in close to 15 years, the City hired Osborn Consulting to lead a consultant team in developing a proposed fee increase and a stormwater utility program master plan. Our goal was to establish a plan for the City to efficiently manage the capital improvement programs, operation and maintenance, retrofits, and level of service for the stormwater utility.
Together with City Staff, the Osborn Consulting Team worked to develop options for a stormwater fee increase, which were recently presented to City Council. Considering the growing demands on the City’s stormwater utility, City Council voted to raise stormwater fees for 2023 following the proposed proactive approach to stormwater management. Spokane Valley City Engineer Gloria Mantz remarked to the Spokesman-Review that “The minimum is basically you’re just putting a Band-Aid and fixing what’s failing. The proactive (approach) allows you to replace failing infrastructure and gets you a little bit ahead of the game.” (https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/nov/21/spokane-valley-homeowners-will-pay-an-extra-37-nex/)
With this fee increase, the City will have the opportunity to better care for and plan for a sustainable stormwater future. The Osborn Consulting team has documented all of the planning work supporting the fee increase in the City’s Stormwater Utility Program Master Plan, including capital improvement projects and a UIC retrofit program.
Water has always played an important role in the region, including early means of transportation on the Spokane River, irrigation of the area’s extensive agricultural lands, historical salmon habitat, and First Nations’ fishing grounds. Underlying the entire region is the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie (SVRP) Aquifer. The aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for the residents of Spokane Valley as well as others in the surrounding region. Considered one of the most productive aquifers in the country, the aquifer receives more than 90 percent of Spokane Valley’s stormwater runoff. Protecting this important resource for the City is of critical importance.
We share our congratulations to the City of Spokane Valley for their work to provide a proactive stormwater management approach for its residents.
Graphic developed by Osborn Consulting used as part of the Public Outreach, Survey and Open House