Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility

In December 2017, the Whatcom County Council established the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area (Ordinance 2017-076) under the authority of RCW 36.89. The Service Area includes the entire unincorporated (outside city limits) Lake Whatcom watershed (see map below).  The purpose of the new stormwater utility is to provide additional funding for efforts to clean up and protect Lake Whatcom water quality. Existing funding sources are not sufficient to meet current and future Lake Whatcom program needs to comply with state-mandated reductions in phosphorus and meet federal Clean Water Act requirements. No fees will be collected until a funding study is completed and Whatcom County Council approves a stormwater fee rate structure for the new service area. 

Funding Study

Whatcom County Public Works is conducting a study to evaluate stormwater fee rate structure options for the new stormwater utility service area. The funding study began in June 2018 and will continue into early 2019. Stakeholder input and recommendations will be provided through a citizen advisory committee. Interested public may attend advisory committee meetings and provide comments to the committee for their consideration.  For more information about the funding study and answers to frequently asked questions, read the funding study summary.  

Advisory Committee

A citizen advisory committee was selected by Whatcom County Council on May 8, 2018.  The purpose of the committee is to represent rate payers in the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area and advise Whatcom County Public Works staff and the Whatcom County Council on recommended rate structure options and a funding mechanism.  Committee members will serve until the council adopts a rate structure, at which time the committee will dissolve.  Committee members are listed below.  For more information and to read the resolution establishing the committee visit the Whatcom County Council Boards and Commissions page

Sudden Valley RepresentativeLaurence Brown
GeographicTodd Citron
GeographicNancy Alyanak
GeographicHarry (Skip) Johnsen
GeographicNathaniel Washington


Meetings

A project kickoff public meeting was held on April 18, 2018 to provide information on the new Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area and funding study process. The first advisory committee meeting was held on June 6, 2018 and additional meetings have been scheduled through the early 2019. Visit the meetings page for additional details, scheduled future meeting dates, and links to meeting documents from past and upcoming meetings.    

To be notified of future meetings, visit the Notify Me page, follow the directions to create a profile, then sign up to receive email or text message notifications from the Public Works Stormwater Calendar. 

Issue Papers

Issue papers are an important part of the funding study.  These papers outline different issues with relevant information on state and county codes, policies, cost, and feasibility.  The purpose of the papers is to provide the information needed for the committee to consider the issue and make a recommendation on that specific issue for the stormwater fee rate structure.  Issue papers will be introduced prior to discussion at a following meeting. Interested public are encouraged to review the issue papers and submit written comments related that topic. See draft schedule below.  Note the schedule is subject to change as the committee progresses through the funding study process.

Download Issue Papers

Meeting DateIssue Paper IntroducedIssue Discussion
June 6, 2018#1 - Fiscal Policies
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
n/a
June 20, 2018n/a#1 - Fiscal Policies
August 1, 2018n/a#1 - Fiscal Policies
August 20, 2018#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits
#1 - Fiscal Policies
#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
September 5, 2018#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges#2 - Rate Structure Alternatives
#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits
September 19, 2018n/a#3 - Stormwater Rate Credits
#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges
November 14, 2018n/a#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges
January 30, 2019n/a#4 - Capital Facilities Charges/Connection Charges


Submit Comments or Questions

Send your comments or questions to LWStormwaterUtility@co.whatcom.wa.us. Staff will respond to questions and forward comments to the advisory committee for consideration. Advisory committee meetings are open to the public with designated public comment periods. Written comments are encouraged. A table listing all public questions and comments received with a response is posted below. This document will be updated periodically throughout the funding study as additional questions and comments are received.  

Public Comments & Questions

Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Funding Study public comments and questions with response as of November 4, 2018

LW_SW_utility resized