Hilliard's stormwater management plan is in compliance with the requirements of its Ohio EPA permit, an engineer told Hilliard City Council on Jan. 23. In addition, the city's stormwater utility rates will remain unchanged for 2012.

Hilliard's stormwater management plan is in compliance with the requirements of its Ohio EPA permit, an engineer told Hilliard City Council on Jan. 23. In addition, the city's stormwater utility rates will remain unchanged for 2012.

"I think the city of Hilliard goes above and beyond to ensure that they are staying in compliance," said Rian Sallee, environmental program manager for EMH&T, a New Albany firm that developed Hilliard's stormwater management plan (SWMP). Sallee discussed the plan at the council meeting.

Since 2003, Hilliard has had a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program from the Environmental Protection Agency that is guided by its SWMP. The plan was approved by the Ohio EPA in 2003, and it also approved a new permit in 2009. Sallee said the city developed a new SWMP to comply with new permit regulations.

Hilliard's SWMP has six "minimum control measures," Sallee said: public education and outreach; public involvement and participation; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site stormwater runoff control; post-construction stormwater management in new and redevelopment; and pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations.

The NPDES permit expires at the end of 2013. The NPDES program grew out of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

Earlier in the evening, Butch Seidle, director of public service, gave council's city planning, projects and services committee the biannual stormwater utility report. The report said "a rate increase is not being recommended at this time."

The current stormwater utility rate is $1.95 per month per household, or per 2,000-square-foot of a business. Hilliard is expected to receive $606,700 in income from the utility in 2012.

Seidle said that in 2011, the city cleaned sewer lines at 31 manhole locations, performed street sweeping five times, collected leaves, brush and offered the chipper service. The city also responded to 62 resident stormwater service requests. Also, a pedestrian bridge over the stream at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center was completed.

Seidle said the design for the Center and Wayne Street storm sewer improvement is also done.

"That's one of the infrastructure needs, so we have an outlet for the future Hilliard's Station Park," Seidle said. "That project is now officially under way."

This year's projects include rehabilitating retention basins at Hayden Run Village Park and Westbriar subdivision; stream restoration of Hamilton Ditch; storm sewer improvements at Wilcox and Riggins roads; and replacing a bridge at Cosgray Road over the Clover Groff Ditch.

"The funds that have been generated from the stormwater utility has been in effect for a couple of years now have really provided an opportunity for the city to make a lot of these improvements that benefit the community," committee chairman Albert Iosue said. "Glad to see that we're making a lot of progress on these projects."