WMEAC reached a milestone on one of its major issues this week, as the Grand Rapids Community Stormwater Planning Initiative wrapped up a two-year stakeholder engagement and research project with the release of its report to the Grand Rapids City Commission detailing options for improving stormwater management in the city.
Recommendations from the report include:
1. The City of Grand Rapids needs to improve management of its stormwater assets; accomplishing this will require increased resources and investment.
2. The City of Grand Rapids should establish an asset management plan for the stormwater system complete with a list of projects needed to maintain a well-functioning system – project details should include typical planning features such as timeline, cost/benefit, and operational savings.
3. Stormwater Stakeholder group participants support a funding mechanism that equitably and sustainably funds stormwater services. There is strong interest in a system that provides incentives for property owners to install green infrastructure and manage stormwater on-site while creating opportunities to mitigate stormwater costs and/or fees. Future work is required to determine the actual outcomes to be achieved.
4. A Stormwater Exploratory Group should be established and appointed by the City Commission to make recommendations on still outstanding decisions.
5. Community stormwater education should continue. Stakeholders provided mixed reviews on the level of public knowledge of stormwater issues.