Penbrook Borough Storm Water Authority
Penbrook Authority’s Stormwater Survey Results – March 2018
Thank you for participating in the Penbrook Borough Authority’s Stormwater Survey. Your input helps shed light on where we are and where we need to go. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires the Penbrook community to reduce the sediment, phosphorous, and nitrogen flowing down the storm drains in 5 years. The mandate costs include permits, licenses, engineered Pollutant Reduction Projects, and daily maintenance. The survey was mailed to property owners, non-profits, and business owners in Penbrook so parcel owners could weigh in on current and future Stormwater practices. Out of the 1,179 surveys mailed, there were 185 surveys completed and returned to the Borough office.
According to the parcel owners participating in the survey, 44% selected to keep the Stormwater fee assessed at Total Square Footage of the parcels. The Authority will collaborate with the Penbrook Council to determine the upcoming budget that affects the Stormwater fees. The newsletter was selected by 80% of the participating parcel owners as their preferred form of communication. Thankfully, with the help of the Penbrook Council and the Penbrook Leos, the newsletter will continue to be published and hand delivered. Email was selected by 52% to express their concerns, solutions, and questions. The Authority will continue to accept and respond to messages through email at email@example.com and voice mail at 717-232-3733.
The survey data reflects that parcel owners are indeed engaged and making time to keep the storm drains clean to reduce the pollutant load. The highest recorded best management practices used by parcel owners are to close the lids on the trash and recycling toters, direct the mower away from the street, pick up litter from the streets, and use organic or no fertilizer on lawns. All of these practices help reduce the pollutant load and improve the environment for families and the community.
Thank you for sharing your perception through the survey. The data from the survey helps the Authority make informed decisions in collaboration with the Penbrook Council. The Authority will follow up with Representative Sue Helm and Senator John Di Santo regarding their progress on pursuing an exemption for Penbrook from the DEP mandates. In the meantime, upcoming decisions include the next budget, projects that address the Pollutant Reduction Plan and ways to continuously improve. Please stay educated and engaged! Visit the website at Penbrook.org and attend meetings on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm at the Borough building. Thank you for your time and care.
A Message from the Penbrook Authority – August 2017
Communities in the Chesapeake watershed are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to reduce pollutants (sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen) that flow from parcels into the streets, down the storm drains, and into surrounding creeks. The DEP is requiring Penbrook to reduce their Pollutant Load into the Paxton and Spring Creeks by 20,774 pounds in the next 5 years. This mandate is unfunded (no monetary support provided).
Penbrook Council obtained a grant from Dauphin County Conservation District (DCCD) to help reduce their Pollutant Load by 2,411 lbs. Other best management practices (BMPs) need to be paid for to reduce the Pollutant Load further. Hiring an engineer to conduct a study of areas with high levels of sediment run off and propose BMP solutions to reduce the pollutant load was a first step. The borough, after receiving feedback from the community, will select from the proposed BMPs and pay for them. The final results of the study and the proposed plan for reducing the pollutant load, conducted by RETTEW, the borough engineering firm, and the proposed BMPs can be found on the Authority website under Penbrook PRP and TMDL.pdf.
The borough must also repair 8 inlets that storm water travels through that add to the Pollutant Load. The borough must apply for and pay for a permit from the DEP. The borough must also continue to clean and maintain the storm drains as well as street clean. These expenses are necessary to reduce Penbrook’s Pollutant Load.
The borough estimated that this would cost $318,486 this year. Although the grant money helps, it isn’t enough. The Penbrook Council created the Authority to charge a fee to parcel owners (Stormwater Fee) to help cover the cost of the best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs are necessary to reduce Penbrook’s Pollutant Load into the Paxton & Spring Creek beds by 20,774 lbs. in 5 years
There are 1,179 parcels in Penbrook. Each parcel owner received a bill in July. This bill states the annual fee based on the size of the parcel. If you pay the quarterly fee early, you get a 2% discount. If you pay late, there is a 5% penalty. If you pay on time, you are paying a quarter of your annual fee. This fee will be reevaluated each year. It is hoped that the fee will go down as BMPs are paid for and the Pollutant Load is reduced. The next quarterly bill will be sent in October.
Parcel owners can attend Authority meetings and are encouraged to participate. Your voice matters! You can help the Authority make informed decisions based on the aspirations of the community, the needs of the borough, and the mandates of the DEP.
The Penbrook Authority meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm at the Penbrook community building. Click HERE for the Penbrook Borough Calendar
Hope to see you there!
150 South 28th Street, Penbrook PA 17103
717-232-3733 ext. 3
Tammy Sweger – President
Blain Bargo – Vice President
John McDonald – Treasurer
Vicky Dougherty – Secretary