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Fairfax County offers to split the bill for private stormwater projects

Flooding on Old Courthouse Road (file photo)

Fairfax County is pushing forward on a program that could have the county government split the bill for private stormwater projects with property owners.

Flooding doesn’t end at the property line and the Local Stormwater Management Assistance Fund aims to help boost stormwater management on private property. At an environmental committee meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 25, staff presented an update on the program.

“This is a good example of how: even when we say everything is private, it’s your responsibility, at the end of the day, if things fall apart, they somehow end up in our lap,” said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

The pilot divided the cost-sharing based on the percentage of property that’s public versus private. For a stormwater issue where most of the drainage is on public land, the county will pay most of the bill, whereas for an issue where the drainage is mostly on private property, the owners would pay the majority.

Cost sharing with new Local Stormwater Management Assistance Fund (via Fairfax County)

The initial budget for the program would be $250,000, with up to $7,000 allowed for each project applying to the fund. Staff said no more than 30 projects could be funded per year through the program, butwith the current eligibility restrictions, even 30 projects was somewhat optimistic.

The county is currently finishing up a pilot program that included the Millwood Pond, Virginia Center or Nutley, Green Trails and Gunston Corner facilities.

The county has signed an agreement with the Millwood Pond owners but determined no maintenance was needed. A “complex” maintenance project at Nutley has been completed, while one at Green Trails is under construction. Negotiations on an agreement for the Gunston Corner pond are still underway.

After the pilot finishes, staff will return to the Board of Supervisors’ environmental committee.