Where do you live?

Know before you scroll:

  1. Some communities have a stormwater utility to help pay for stormwater management, and some do not. Each community makes its own rules, so some stormwater utilities offer property owners a credit for actions that reduce runoff, and some do not.
  2. Stormwater utility fees are based on the amount of hard surface area (roof, driveway, parking lot, etc.) on a property. Hard surface area is measured by Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU).
  3. Each stormwater utility decides its own cost per ERU. Fee income is used to make improvements mandated by the federal Clean Water Act.


City of La Crosse

In the City of La Crosse, water from the storm system drains directly to the La Crosse River, Lower Black River, La Crosse Marsh, and Mississippi River.

Yes, there is a stormwater utility fee. Yes, there is a stormwater utility credit.

  • Fees for a residential property are $13.48 each quarter (a flat fee for all).
    • Residential property is defined as property with three or fewer units—single family homes, duplexes, triplexes and twindos
  • Fees for a non-residential property are a little trickier. They are calculated based on actual hard surface (in square feet) divided by 2,841 (the average residential hard surface area), then multiplied by $13.48 per quarter.
    • Non-residential properties include condominiums and apartment buildings with four or more dwelling units. Also parking lots, and all properties zoned or used for commercial, industrial, institutional or governmental purposes.
  • All property owners can reduce their fee up to 80%.

Why a fee? And where does it go?

The City created a stormwater utility as a way to equitably charge for mandated improvements in stormwater management. Because stormwater utilities are funded by user fees, all properties within the service area—including properties owned by tax-exempt and non-profit groups—are charged based on the amount of runoff each property produces. This places the burden of responsibility on users, rather than all La Crosse taxpayers.

I have questions. Who can help?

La Crosse Utilities Office 608-789-7536

City of La Crosse Boundary Map

Containment of illicit discharge on Pammel Creek, near Mormon Coulee Road

City of Onalaska

In Onalaska, water from the storm system drains directly to the La Crosse River, Lower Black River, Lake Onalaska, or Mississippi River.

Yes, there is a stormwater utility fee. For some, there is a stormwater utility credit.

  • Fees for a residential property are $14.90 each quarter (a flat fee for all).
    • Residential property is defined as property with two or fewer units—single family homes, duplexes, and twindos.
  • Fees for a non-residential property are a little trickier. They are calculated by: actual hard surface area /3,888 (average hard surface area) * $59.63.
    • Non-residential properties include commercial, institutional, manufacturing, tax-exempt, mobile home parks, and multi-family dwellings with three or more units.
  • Residential properties are not eligible for a fee reduction. Non-residential property owners can reduce their fee by 50%

Why a fee? And where does it go?

The City of Onalaska owns and maintains more than 87 miles of streets, 54 miles of storm sewer, more than 2,500 drainage structures (such as inlets and manholes), seven wet detention basins, and 15 dry detention basins. Much of the existing drainage system is more than 30 years old and in need of repair. To reduce polluted runoff, the City cleans and maintains ditches, detention basins, storm sewers, catch basins, manholes, and streambanks. In addition, they do street sweeping and leaf collection. They construct and maintain stormwater treatment, detention, and conveyance facilities. And on top of that, they develop programs and practices to help educate the community.

I have questions. Who can help?

Kevin Schubert, Assistant City Engineer

City of Onalaska Boundary Map

Lake Onalaska looking Northwest towards the airport lights

Village of Holmen

In Holmen, water from the storm system  discharges to local streams, such as Halfway Creek, or to detention and retention basins.

  • Yes, there is a stormwater utility fee. Residential property owners pay a flat fee of $12.25 each quarter. Fees for non-residential property are a little trickier. Commercial, government, and institutional property fees are based on hard surface area. Fees for multi-family properties are based on number of dwelling units.
  • For some, there is a stormwater utility credit. Residential properties are not eligible for a fee reduction. However, non-residential property owners with more than 10 ERU’s can reduce their fee by 50%. An application process with engineer’s assessment is required, and the Village Board considers applications for approval yearly at a July meeting.

Why a fee? And where does it go?

Holmen stormwater utility fee income helps cover costs for stormwater related activities within the Village, including street sweeping labor, equipment & fuel, storm sewer system repairs & maintenance, storm sewer capital improvements, compost site operation, brush chipping labor, equipment & fuel, consultant fees, newsletters and signs, a portion of the stormwater utility manager’s salary, permit, computer modeling of storm sewer system, and testing of water samples.

I have questions. Who can help?

Pete Mezera, Assistant Public Works Director

Village of Holmen Boundary Map

Halfway Creek Park

Town of Onalaska

Water from the storm system drains directly to the La Crosse River, Lower Black River, Lake Onalaska, and the Mississippi River through smaller streams, creeks and marsh areas.

  • The Town of Onalaska was the first town in La Crosse County to have a stormwater ordinance.
  • Yes, there is a stormwater utility fee. All types of properties including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and government are billed annually based on total ERU’s. One ERU equals $24.00. Vacant land is assessed at $1.00 per acre.
  • Yes, there is a stormwater utility credit. All property owners can reduce their fee up to 50%.

Why a fee? And Where does it go?

I have questions. Who can help?

Rolly Bogert, Town Chairperson

Town of Onalaska Boundary Map

Village of West Salem

In the Village of West Salem, stormwater flows into the La Crosse River, Lake Neshonoc and various ponds and ditches.

  • Yes, there is a stormwater utility fee for all types of properties, including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and government are billed annually based on total ERU’s. One ERU equals $24.00. Vacant land is assessed at $1.00 per acre.
  • Yes, there is a Stormwater Utility Credit. Any property owner can reduce their fee up to 50%.

Why a fee? What is the fee used for?

The Village of West Salem uses fee income to operate and maintain a street sweeper that cleans streets in spring and fall, to keep debris, sediment, and leaves out of the stormwater system. Stormwater utility revenues also fund curb and gutter installation and maintenance, installation and reconstruction of eight retention ponds, stormwater infrastructure maintenance and replacement, and all other services associated with the utility.

The average home and small business owner pays $7.00 per quarter. A stormwater management plan is required for new development. Plans are enforced by the Village engineer, public works director, and building inspector.

I have questions. Who can help?

Teresa Schnitzler, Village Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer

Village of West Salem Boundary Map

 

Built in 2009, West Salem’s water tower holds 750,000 gallons of water and doubled the Village’s water capacity.

 

One of West Salem’s storm drains, flowing into the La Crosse River

City of La Crescent

Runoff from the City of La Crescent flows into the Mississippi River and Pine Creek.

  • No, La Crescent does not have a stormwater utility fee.

How is stormwater managed without a fee?

La Crescent manages stormwater expenses through a general account.

I have questions. Who can help?

Jay Gillette, Utility Maintenance Supervisor

 

City of La Crescent Boundary Map

Town of Shelby

The Town of Shelby manages stormwater with above-ground gutters and ditches, and more than 15 miles of underground piping. These networks are supported by sweeping over 46 miles of roadway, grinding leaves, removing branches in right-of-ways to promote drainage, and keeping ditches free from silt on a regular basis.

  • No, there is not a stormwater utility fee.

How is stormwater managed without a fee?

I have questions. Who can help?

Christina Peterson, Town Administrator

Town of Shelby Boundary Map

Debris clogging a culvert near Hwy 33

Town of Holland

The Town of Holland is situated on a flat sand prairie. Water not absorbed on individual properties runs to ditches and retention ponds where it’s absorbed into the ground.

  • No, there is not a Stormwater Utility Fee or Credit.

How is stormwater managed without a fee?

The cost of maintaining the ditch system is a Township general expense. Because stormwater does not run directly to streams, it is managed by keeping suspended solids (soil particles, sand, and trash) low in waterways. The amount of suspended solids in Town of Holland waters is significantly lower than the 40% maximum allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

I have questions. Who can help?

Marilyn Pedretti, Town Clerk

Town of Holland

One of the bridges on McGilvray “Seven Bridges” Road

Town of Campbell

The Town of Campbell is situated on French Island in the Mississippi River on a flat sand prairie. Water not absorbed on individual properties runs to drainage ditches.

No, there is not a stormwater utility fee or credit.

How is stormwater managed without a fee?

The Town of Campbell relies heavily on drainage ditches and, for the most part, performs little maintenance. The police department has ordinance enforcement for ditches to keep them free of debris.

I have questions. Who can help?

Cassie Hanan, Clerk/Treasurer

Town of Campbell Boundary Map

French Island looking North toward the airport