HUDSON – Two articles on this fall’s Town Meeting warrant concerned the establishment of a stormwater management program, but only one passed.
Voters have approved the passage of Article 19, which asked the town to accept the provisions of a law in order to establish a “Stormwater Enterprise Fund,” which would account for the revenues and expenditures of stormwater operations in Hudson.
However, Article 20, which called for the amendment of the town’s General Bylaws to add a “Stormwater Utility Section,” was passed over for Town Meeting in May.
The stormwater management program is designed to protect properties from flooding and from the damage caused by stormwater runoff, the warrant said.
In addition, the program would manage water quality by controlling the level of pollutants in stormwater runoff and the flow of water through both manmade and natural stormwater management systems.
Director of Public Works Eric Ryder said the program would also allow Hudson to meet state and federal regulatory requirements under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit.
Since 2003, Hudson has had a MS4 Permit. As part of the permitting requirements, Hudson must develop a written Stormwater Management Program, which would guide the town’s implementation of requirements for the permit.
Among the MS4 General Permit requirements, the town is required to fix leaky or unauthorized sanitary sewer lines that might be discharging into the drainage system and ensure that new developments both control and treat runoff before it leaves the property.
Ryder called the program,“the most equitable way” of covering Hudson’s infrastructure costs and meeting permit requirements.
He added, “One of the big things is we have about $88 million of stormwater assets, catch basins, culverts, outfalls, manholes and 370,000 linear feet of pipe. That’s a lot of money that we need to maintain.”
Voters voice concerns
Many voters voiced their concerns about the stormwater management program during Town Meeting.
Allan Goldsworthy, a Resident of Quail Run, said he does not object to the program. However, he said that the residents of Quail Run are already paying for a stormwater management bill and don’t want to get charged again.
“My objection is that we are paying twice,” he said.
Ryder said that private entities would be able to apply for credits for their parcel, but they would not receive a “100% credit.” However, he said that in the rules and regulations, there would be credits for a community that has private stormwater management.
Resident Dave Peterson said he does not “completely understand” the stormwater management program.
“I would suggest we table this if we could at this point and come up with a plan to educate the rest of the town. This is big dollars,” he said.
The adoption of a stormwater management program will go before Town Meeting again in May.
Correction: Originally, this article stated that Article 19 was passed over. However, Article 19 was passed by voters. This article has been updated with the correct information.