Stormwater Utility Fee

What is a Stormwater Utility Fee?

Stormwater originates from rain or melting snow or other activities involving outdoor water use, such as car washing or hosing off the driveway or sidewalk. Water that does percolate into the ground becomes stormwater run-off. Every property generates run-off and benefits from the Village infrastructure system that manages stormwater.

The utility fee model represents an equitable method of allocating the cost of improvements and maintenance of the stormwater management system. Those properties that place a greater demand on the system, pay a higher rate. The fee generates funds by charging all property owners a stormwater fee, based on the property's impact to the stormwater system. A property's impact is calculated based on the amount of impervious area on the property (i.e. structures, driveways, walkways). 

Funds generated by the utility can only be used for the maintenance, operations and improvement of the stormwater management system (i.e. storm sewer pipe and structures, detention/retention basins and structures, rain gardens/bioswales, etc.).


The Finance Committee and Public Works & Water Committee met jointly throughout 2021 to review unfunded capital infrastructure projects. An estimated $30 million in stormwater related projects were identified with no existing funding source. The Joint Committee and Village Board, directed staff to explore the following technical studies:

  • Stormwater Utility Fee Study - Explore a potential funding source for unfunded projects and operations/maintenance of the stormwater management system.
  • Capital Infrastructure Plan/Financial Plan - Review all facets of the Village's infrastructure including, but not limited to, roadway, sewer (sanitary/storm), water distribution/production, sidewalk/bike, municipal facilities, streetscape, and fiber optic. The purpose of the study is to outline capital project costs, prioritizations, and funding options. 

In the fall of 2021 the Village issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Stormwater Utility Fee Study. The study was separated into two phases: Phase I - Feasibility of the fee in Western Springs (estimated rate structure, funding needs, etc.) and Phase II - Implementation of the fee into the community and organization (utility billing, public information/town halls, customer service, etc.). The Village Board reviewed a staff recommendation to award Phase I of the study to Raftelis at the November 8, 2021 Board Meeting. Phase I of the study was awarded to Raftelis at the November 22, 2021 Board Meeting. Raftelis and Village staff presented the results of Phase I at the June 2022 Board meeting (below). 

Public Process

  • November 5, 2020 - Joint Finance and Public Works and Water Committee Meeting - Initial review of outstanding, unfunded, capital projects. 
  • January 21, 2021 - Joint Finance and Public Works and Water Committee Meeting - Review of funding options available to the Village. 
  • May 3, 2021 - Joint Finance and Public Works and Water Committee Meeting - Review of funding options utilized by other municipalities. 
  • August 11, 2021 - Joint Finance and Public Works and Water Committee Meeting - Stormwater Utility Fee Study recommended by the joint committee. 
  • August 16, 2021 - Village Board Meeting - Review of Stormwater Utility Fee Study recommendation and consensus. 
  • November 4, 2022 Finance Committee Meeting - Raftelis recommended as consultant to complete study. 
  • November 8. 2022 Village Board Meeting - Request for Proposals reviewed and Raftelis recommendation. 
  • November 8. 2022 Village Board Meeting - Raftelis awarded Stormwater Utility Fee Study. 
  • June 13, 2022 Village Board Meeting - Stormwater Utility Fee Study Phase I Feasibility Presentation

*The volume of the presentation may need to be adjusted up when the Raftelis presentation begins (~17 minutes, 36 second) due to technical difficulties with the podium microphone.

This page will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

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