General Program Description
Alachua County has identified various problem areas throughout the county that frequently flood and cause structural damage or accessibility issues. Also, water bodies within the county have been identified as being "impaired" or having water quality deficiencies based on State and Federal regulatory criteria. These problem or impaired areas have been documented and investigated. But due to the lack of dedicated funding, corrective actions have not been implemented. Recognizing the significance of the flooding and the need to protect natural water bodies, Alachua County included specific guidelines in the 2001-2020 Comprehensive Plan (adopted 2005) to better manage stormwater. Those guidelines resulted in the implementation of a Stormwater Management Program (SMP).
Two main requirements of the SMP are listed in the Comp Plan 1) the SMP must have a Dedicated Funding Source; 2) the SMP must be comprehensive and address all of the County's stormwater management issues.
Dedicated Funding Source
Provisions for a Dedicated Funding Source are a critical element to the success of the SMP. Therefore, one of the main goals of the SMP is to specify the funding source, initiate its operation and insure that it is dedicated to the goals of the program.
The development of a Comprehensive Plan sets in place a system that will address all aspects of stormwater management within the county. Having this all-encompassing SMP gives citizens confidence in the County's desire and ability to correct flooding and water quality deficiencies. Being Comprehensive is a major goal of the SMP in order to address necessary Capital Improvements, continued Maintenance and Administration of the program. Capital improvements will correct existing deficiencies in flooding and water quality. Maintenance will be bolstered to ensure existing and new systems perform as designed. Administration of the program is necessary for leadership, coordination and direction of the program. These three elements of the program form a comprehensive approach to proactive management of stormwater.
Stormwater Master Plan
A key component of developing an effective SMP is preparing a Stormwater Master Plan. Master planning provides an opportunity to assess the state of stormwater management on a County-wide basis for unincorporated areas. The focus of the plan will be to identify management needs and costs to address flooding problems, water quality deficiencies, maintenance of drainage systems, and compliance with regulatory requirements. Through the Stormwater Master Planning efforts, costs associated with meeting the goals of a comprehensive program will be refined to allow the most appropriate funding options to be evaluated.
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