Policy and Procedure for Stormwater Drainage Improvement Projects

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I. Purpose
II. Introduction
III. Applicability

IV. Policies

I. Purpose

This policy describes the procedure for the request, approval, design and construction of storm water drainage improvement projects involving the expenditure of public funds. One purpose of this policy is to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the residents of property upon which the improvements are constructed, property abutting the improvements and property in other affected areas. This policy addresses storm water drainage problems that have become increasingly frequent throughout the city.

II. Introduction

Storm water drainage improvement projects frequently involve the installation of flood and erosion control improvements, such as storm sewer pipe, storm drainage structures, stream restoration and rip rap. The construction of these improvements may be performed by city personnel or by a contract between the city and private construction firms. Funding for these improvements may be accomplished by various means. These include, for example, payment by the city of the full project costs or apportionment of the project costs by agreement between the city and the involved property owners. Proposed projects are initiated and may be completed by the procedure described in this policy. The procedure includes the following steps: placement of the proposed project on the storm water drainage projects list; engineering study; funding approval; design; easement acquisition; bidding; project construction; completion and acceptance.

III. Applicability

This policy applies to projects on, abutting or affecting property within the city.

IV. Policies

A. Storm Water Drainage Projects List
The Department of Public Works shall maintain a prioritized list of proposed storm water drainage projects. Proposed projects may be added to the list by the procedure described in this policy. A project may be deleted from the list at the direction of City Council, at the request of the person(s) initiating the project or upon completion and acceptance of the project by the city.

B. Placement of Proposed Projects on the Storm Water Drainage Projects List
Proposed projects may be placed on the list by submitting to the Director of Public Works either a citizen letter request or petition, staff recommendation, capital improvements program request or City Council concern form. Proposed projects will be evaluated on the basis of the type of drainage problems, the community support for the proposed project, the project cost, the environmental effects, zoning requirements and other storm water drainage engineering criteria.

C. Engineering Study
Upon receipt of a request for a proposed project, the Department of Public Works will perform a preliminary engineering study. This study will determine the feasibility of the proposed project, the environmental effects and the impact on existing structures, facilities and affected properties. A preliminary cost estimate will also be prepared. A cost estimate will be provided for both contract construction and for construction by city crews, including all time and materials.

Based upon the findings of the preliminary engineering study, the Director of Public Works will place each of the proposed projects in one of the following categories: threat to life, threat to habitable structures or nuisance. A nuisance may include, but is not limited to, erosion and siltation, damage to landscaping, animal and insect infestation, trash and debris deposited from upstream and other problems which do not normally pose a threat to life or to habitable structures. Each proposed project will be further evaluated within each category according to the number, frequency and severity of the drainage problems, the number of affected properties, the potential for environmental damage due to construction activities and the community support for the project. For projects rated equally, the lower cost project and/or projects where residents are willing to share in the construction cost will be given a higher priority.

D. Project Approval and Funding
The Director of Public Works may approve projects that will be constructed solely by city forces using materials purchased with budgeted Public Works Department operating funds. All other projects must be approved by the City Council before implementation. For projects requiring Council approval, the results of the preliminary engineering study will be forwarded to the City Council, along with a staff recommendation regarding project approval, funding and scheduling. Projects may be approved by appropriations for funds during the annual budget process or by the City Council at other times throughout the year. A public hearing is required if the necessary funds have not been previously appropriated. The City Council will be provided with the current projects list for review on an annual basis. The Council's review will coincide with the annual five-year Capital Improvement Program process.

E. Project Design and Easement Acquisition
The Department of Public Works is responsible for the preparation of construction plans and easement plats for each approved project. The Department of Public Works is responsible for acquiring easements and discussing the proposed plans with the affected property owners. The Department of Public Works will attempt to accommodate any reasonable suggestions and comments of property owners concerning project design. The final project design and plan approval is the responsibility of the Director of Public Works.

F. Bidding and Construction
All bidding shall be carried out in accordance with the city purchasing ordinance. The Department of Public Works shall prepare bid specifications. The Department of Public Works is responsible for monitoring the construction of an approved project including, but not limited to, surveying, contractor supervision, inspection and approval of invoices. The Department of Public Works must approve any changes to the construction plans.

G. Project Acceptance
Acceptance of a project is the responsibility of the Director of Public Works. Any concerns of a property owner as to whether a project has been properly constructed should be addressed by the Director of Public Works, the City Manager or the City Council.

Revised 6/20/01