Orlando Arteaga

Georgetown City Engineer Orlando Arteaga highlights the stormwater plan during a meeting with residents Nov. 13.

The city of Georgetown has sought input from residents and experts to come up with a storm water management plan.

The Current stormwater ordinances date back to March 18, 1993.

Back in 2018, the city commissioned WK Dickson, a consulting firm to analyze the current conditions and the issues that the community faces in terms of flooding throughout the city.

The consultant’s study was completed in July.

“We definitely feel like there’s a need to update that [1993 ordinance] to reflect the times and the conditions we face in the city,” City Engineer Orlando Arteaga said.

The proposed plan includes 12 key areas in the Historic District and West End subject to flooding based on surveys by residents.

The city hopes to have a phase two study which will include Maryville in the next four to five years.

The plan called to upsize stormwater pipes to account for the rainfall.

“The city needs to implement a plan to alleviate the flooding from rain events,” City Administrator Sandra Yudice said. She said the plan does not address flooding from high-tides or hurricanes.

According to the city, the more time it takes to implement the plan, the higher the cost. Yudice estimates that it will currently cost a little over $20 million during a timeline of six to eight years.

“We know that we have an outdated infrastructure,” Arteaga said.

“We have pipes that are very old, in particularly the Historic District. Some of these pipes are 67-70 years old.”

According to Arteaga, the plan will also improve water quality discharged into the rivers and marsh.

The projects will be financed on a 20-year term and one of the options that is currently proposed is an increase of stormwater utility rates in the city.

Residential rates will increase from $6 to $8/meter per month.

Non-residential properties will be billed by its impervious surface.

Vacant or undeveloped properties will be billed a flat rate of $4/month billed semi-annually or annually.

Arteaga said that the city will present the plan to city council on Nov. 21 for formal approval.