Dozens of residents gathered at Illinois Central College’s Peoria Campus in mid-April for a great discussion about the City’s new stormwater utility — what it is, why it’s necessary and how property owners can take action to reduce their fees.

Peoria Public Works Project Engineer Andrea Klopfenstein walked the audience through ways the City plans to use the funds generated by the utility — like putting in place new citywide green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff and addressing existing stormwater problems. Right now, there’s a backlog of 400+ projects across Peoria involving sinkholes, erosion and aging culverts that must be fixed.

Many in attendance expressed interest in doing their part to reduce stormwater runoff and improve the quality of local streams and creeks. One simple way to do that, according to Klopfenstein? Install green property features like permeable pavement or rain gardens. Doing so won’t just lessen runoff, they say, but also help lower stormwater utility bills. The City plans to offer credits and grants ranging from reimbursing residents for the purchase of rain barrels to funding major engineering projects up to $100,000.

Here’s a quick look at some of the other Q&A from the meeting:

Who will receive a stormwater utility bill? Homeowners, businesses, churches, schools and just about anyone with property that captures rainfall.

When will I receive my first bill? The stormwater utility goes into affect June 1, but depending on where you live, you might not see your bill until July or August.

Will brick or gravel be viewed as permeable? Unless designed specifically for stormwater infiltration, brick and gravel will not be considered as permeable and will not qualify for credits.

Why does it have to be a separate bill? Can’t you add it to one I already get? The City’s exploring the possibility of adding the stormwater utility fee to property tax or water bills. Stay tuned.

Want to learn more? Download the full presentation from the meeting and the credit and grant FAQs. Then, help us keep the community conversation going! Share your ideas for credits and grants by emailing them to