The Village of Mount Pleasant Storm Water Drainage Utility District was formed in 1998 by the Village Board, which sought to create a Utility by dissolving the former Storm Water Drainage District. The Storm Water Drainage Commission governs the activities of the Utility. The Commission employs a Water Systems Engineer as its primary source for technical assistance relating to projects and day-to-day activities pertaining to the Utility. The Water Systems Engineer is assisted by the Director of Engineering and various consultant engineering firms.
In 2007, the Mount Pleasant Storm Water Utility implemented a new funding mechanism to fund their operational and capital costs. This new user-based fee replaced the old funding mechanism for the Utility, which was as a line item on the tax bill. This meant that a given property’s storm water charge was based on its assessed value. Under the new user-based system, the concept is to provide a means of measuring usage to more fairly distribute funding for the Storm Water Utility. The way this is accomplished is by using a base unit for measuring a property’s appropriate charge, called an “Equivalent Runoff Unit” or “ERU”. This base unit, the “Equivalent Runoff Unit” is quantified as the average impervious area (rooftops, driveways, exterior pavement, etc.) of a typical residential property within the Village of Mount Pleasant.
It is important to note that this charge effectively replaces the old line item on a given tax bill, so this is not an additional charge. This new funding mechanism is also revenue neutral, so there is no additional revenue being brought in from tax payers by using the new system.
The intent of this ERU system is to more accurately allocate fees according to usage. The bottom line is the more impervious surface you have, the more runoff you ultimately contribute to the Village systems (e.g. the more “usage”) and the amount you are charged is directly proportional to these quantities. The major shift in charges using this system is away from residential properties and more towards the larger impervious properties.
Citizens with particular storm water/drainage issues or complaints are encouraged to fill out the form found within the link below. Completed forms can be mailed to the Village Hall, c/o the Water Systems Engineer or e-mailed to Tony Beyer at email@example.com. These complaints will be analyzed and reviewed(possibly including a site visit) and normally responded to within 1-2 weeks.
Any Village property owner intending to alter the existing grade and/or drainage patterns within their property is required to obtain a Fill Permit from the Village Engineering Department. The permits are executed on a case-by-case basis by the Engineering Department to ensure compliance of the fill/grading operation with all applicable Village Ordinances.
The fee for a Fill Permit is currently $25. Information required to be provided and approved for execution of the permit is shown on the form below. The Engineering Department reserves the right to request further information if deemed necessary to satisfy issuance and approval of the permit.
Village Staff review all submitted development plans to ensure compliance with local and state guidelines and requirements. The Village’s minimum storm water submittal standards are shown in the document below. All plan submittals are subject to additional requirements:
Sec. 74-233 of the Village Code of Ordinances dictates the post-construction storm water management standards required of all development within the Village. Some of the documents required with every submittal are shown below, as well as an example Best Management Practice inspection checklist:
The original implementation of the Pike River Improvements Project, as it is currently known and designed, began in 1997 with the issuance of its Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(WDNR) Chapter 30 permit, the primary regulatory document controlling the means and methods for project development and construction. The Pike River Improvements Project was established to accomplish various goals, including flood control, removal of properties and structures from the floodplain, ecological and habitat restoration (fish habitat and prairie/wetland establishment), and recreational corridor development. Construction on Phase 1 began in 2001, with pre-project implementation and design occurring primarily between 1997 and 2001 construction. Various aspects of the project and different avenues for design and implementation were explored for many years prior to 1997, but the bulk of design and project specific costs were incurred immediately prior to the commencement of construction in 2001.
Phases 1-3 were designed and constructed from 2001-2006. These Phases stretch from the river headwaters near Spring St. to just south of Oakes Road. Typical of all Phases of the project, primary goals of the project included flood control, habitat restoration and recreational corridor development. The work resulting from these three Phases has physically removed over 120 properties from the 100-year floodplain. The Storm Water Commission is currently awaiting the approval of a floodplain revision submittal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make the removal of these properties, primarily residences, a regulatory reality. Once approved, affected property owners will no longer be required to purchase flood insurance for their property(s), potentially saving thousands of dollars. Phases 1 & 2 contain roughly 2 miles of off-road paved recreational trail primarily encompassing Phase 1.
Phases 4-5 were constructed from 2007-2010 and are located between 16th Street extended and STH 11. The goals of these two Phases were similar to those in other Phases; flood control, habitat restoration and recreational corridor development. Phase 4 contains more than 2 miles of recreational trail, scheduled to be paved in 2012 with WisDOT CMAQ and WDNR Stewardship grant funding. This trail system provides connectivity from existing on-road trails along the STH 20 S. Frontage Road to the Racine County Trail, which is currently paved and runs east-west along the southern boundary of Phase 4. The Racine County Trail ultimately provides connectivity to City of Racine and Kenosha County trails as well.
Within Phases 1-5, the Storm Water Commission has initiated the purchase/obtainment of over 206 acres of land for the purposes of Pike River riparian corridor development. These lands have been obtained via fee simple acquisition as well as conservation easements. A significant portion of the Phase 4 corridor(47.2 acres) was donated to the Village by S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., through a joint venture where S.C. Johnson accepted the fill from Phase 4 via the nearby Mech’s North site just north of Waxdale. This close proximity fill site saved the Village hundreds of thousands of dollars in hauling costs.
In calendar 2011, Phase 6a is scheduled for completion. This Phase is flanked by two commercial properties with improvements/pavement abutting the top of bank on both sides of the river. Key aspects of this sub-Phase include flood channel expansion and restoration to the maximum extent possible, as well as recreational corridor installation. An abandoned sanitary sewer lift station has also been demolished as part of the project.
Phase 6b is currently scheduled for construction in 2012, while Phase 7 is not currently scheduled for construction until 2015-2017. The goals for these Phases are similar to those in other Phases, which include flood control, habitat restoration and recreational corridor development. Approximately 50 acres of land is scheduled to be acquired as part of Phases 6b & 7. The final two Phases of the project are Phases 8 & 9. These Phases have similar project aspects and goals as the other Phases (flood control, habitat restoration and recreational corridor development) with extra emphasis on ecological and habitat features related to fish biology and prairie/wetland establishment. Total acreage to be purchased within Phases 8 & 9 is currently just over 91 acres. Biex-Ramcke Homestead Park, an 85-acre Village park, was also purchased in conjunction with the project to serve as a staging/fill area for the project and an eventual Village park.
All of the work done to date on the Pike River Improvements Project has been done without borrowing any funds. With the current funds on hand and projected future revenues, there are no plans to borrow any funds to complete all nine Phases of the project. In addition, it is projected that the current ERU charge will not need to be raised to facilitate the project, as well as other future capital projects and annual operating budgets.
The pre-project (2001) fund balance of $5,480,233 that made this funding situation possible was due to the foresight of former Storm Water Drainage District Commissioners Charles Creuziger, James Shea, and James O’Connor. Their vision allowed this fund balance to be accrued so the Pike River Improvements Project could be constructed for Village residents to enjoy with the least possible economic impact to the Village’s taxpayers.
In order to satisfy a portion of the requirements of the Village’s Department of Natural Resources-issued Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit
WPDES Permit No. WI-S050059-2)
, the Village partners with other nearby municipalities to form the Southeast Wisconsin Clean Water Network. This group collaborates to implement a public education and involvement program that increases the awareness of storm water pollution impacts and encourages public participation to help reduce these impacts. The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, with assistance from the University of Wisconsin Extension, serves as the lead for this collaboration.
A link to the Root-Pike WIN website, as well as many other useful documents and links related to this public education and outreach program, are provided below: