The City developed a temporary rate schedule for the storm water utility, and an in-depth rate study began late summer of 2017. When completed, this study will be used to establish a new rate schedule and must be approved by City Council as part of a public process. The preliminary rates are as follows:
As dictated by Ordinance 3580 – MMC 13.27, utility rates cover storm water services for every property and street in Missoula.
Missoula Storm Water Utility rates pay for a complete and comprehensive system of storm water management and drainage services throughout the City, covering three crucial services. First, the rates include costs for maintaining existing storm water infrastructure such as sumps, detention and retention basins, storm water drain pipes, manholes, storm water treatment devices, and drainage ditches (not irrigation ditches). This maintenance helps keep Missoula streets usable and clear of flooding. Second, a portion of the storm water utility rates provide for the Missoula levee system operation and maintenance. In-turn, this helps prevent large-scale flooding and reduces flood insurance rates. Third, utility rates cover the costs of storm water management education as well as programs that work to keep pollutants from entering Missoula’s creeks, streams, rivers, and even groundwater, to ensure clean water for years to come.
Whether someone walks, bikes, rides the bus, or drives in Missoula everyone has a storm water footprint. Vehicles of all types – bicycles, skateboards, motorcycles, buses, cars, and trucks – impact storm water. On our daily errands we all leave residual materials like grease, oil, fuel, particles from brake pads, rubber tires and wheels, dirt, mud, and gravel. All transportation uses leave this residual material on sidewalks, trails, and streets. Additionally, those impervious (hard) surfaces we use have their own impact on storm water, concentrating large volumes of runoff and contributing to overland flow and the watershed's overall cubic feet/second in any given channel. This comes from every property and street.
Beyond transportation, trash from around Missoula is blown to the curbs and gutters before washing down storm inlets to eventually end up in the creeks, streams and rivers of Missoula – the hub of five valleys. The resource we all want to protect.