City of Bloomington Utilities Announces 2020 Residential Stormwater Grants Program

(BLOOMINGTON) – The City of Bloomington Utilities Department (CBU) invites homeowners to apply for funding through the second annual Residential Stormwater Grants Program.

The City has allocated $70,000 for the 2020 program to assist owners of single-family residential property with environmentally-friendly drainage projects such as rain gardens, bioswales, and detention pond maintenance.

CBU will host three public informational meetings about the grant application process and project requirements on the following dates:

  • Saturday, January 25, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., City Hall, Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton St.                                              
  • Tuesday, January 28, 6 – 7 p.m., Banneker Community Center, Third Floor, 930 W. 7th St.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 6 – 7 p.m., Switchyard Park Pavilion, 1601 S. Rogers St.

Residential projects for consideration should improve the management of stormwater, the water that flows over land from rainfall or snow melt, before it enters natural waterways.

In Bloomington, much of the stormwater is captured by the conveyance infrastructure known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), before being discharged to streams.

Localized flooding can occur when the MS4 infrastructure receives more water than it can accommodate in a short period of time. In addition, the water that flows into storm drains and through the MS4 does not get treated and, as such, has the potential to transport pollutants from the urban landscape directly into local streams.

The goal of “green” stormwater infrastructure is to slow the water down, allowing for more filtration and removal of pollutants from the water before it enters our storm drains.

Funding for the program comes from the stormwater fee increase approved by City Council in 2018. Nearly one-quarter of the revenue generated by this fee increase funds eco-friendly upgrades, including green infrastructure improvements in City projects along with the residential grants. Together, these projects will contribute to improved stormwater management in the whole community.

In 2019, $35,000 was allocated to the Residential Stormwater Grants Program and a total of 11 projects were funded. Projects ranged from around $500 to $5,000 and included rain gardens, dry creek beds, and ditch stabilization projects.  The amount allocated to the program was doubled to $70,000 in the 2020 budget. 

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton

“As climate change makes stormwater challenges more frequent and severe, the city is committed to working with property owners to control flooding and mitigate future damage in environmentally responsible ways,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “I appreciate the work of CBU Director Vic Kelson and his staff to help proactively address climate change.”  

CBU is requesting applications be submitted by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to City of Bloomington Utilities, Attn: Kriste Lindberg, Stormwater Education Specialist, 600 E. Miller Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401, email stormwater@bloomington.in.gov, or phone 812-349-3617. 

An optional Letter of Intent may be submitted by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2020, before the application to help with project planning.  

An appointed committee, including members of the public, will rank the applications and decide which projects to fund and how much funding they will receive; projects will be ranked and selected based on their potential to improve drainage and reduce the number of pollutants discharged into our waterways.

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