Calling for Proposals: 2023 Residential Stormwater Grants Program by Utilities
The City of Bloomington Utilities Department (CBU), Minnesota has opened the application period for its fifth annual Residential Stormwater Grants Program. Aiming to promote eco-friendly drainage projects like rain gardens, bioswales, and detention-pond maintenance, CBU is encouraging homeowners to apply for funding to implement these water management initiatives on their properties.
A public information meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 22, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Utilities Service Center, 600 E. Miller Drive. This session aims to provide insights into the application process and project prerequisites. For those unable to attend in person, a recording of the meeting will be accessible on the CBU grants webpage at bloomington.in.gov/utilities/stormwater/grants.
CBU’s Residential Stormwater Grants Program offers small grants to homeowners wishing to install sustainable stormwater infrastructure on their private residential properties. Such initiatives are designed to control stormwater before it reaches local water bodies or the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), which is the city’s stormwater conveyance infrastructure. Effective stormwater management can help mitigate localized flooding and erosion, as well as prevent pollutants from infiltrating our water system, as stormwater often directly drains into streams and bodies of water without treatment.
Prospective applicants should submit their applications by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023, through the grants webpage to be considered in the 2023 review window. Considering the time it takes to explore options, formulate a plan, and consult potential contractors, CBU advises residents to begin the application process as early as spring.
Funding for this program was sanctioned by the City Council in 2018 through a stormwater fee. The revenue generated is funneled towards “green” infrastructure enhancements in city projects where traditional “gray” infrastructure is commonly used. These projects collectively contribute to an improved stormwater management system within the community.
In the previous year, the program financed 10 projects that varied in cost from approximately $1,500 to $11,000. These projects spanned rain gardens, dry creek beds, and other drainage stabilization initiatives.
Mayor John Hamilton voiced his support for the program, stating, “This collaboration with property owners bolsters our resilience by addressing the tangible impacts of climate change. Jointly, we can strive to regulate flooding, shield our waterways, and minimize future damage in environmentally conscious ways.” He added that through the program, residents and CBU can collectively diminish their climate impact and fortify their resilience.
A review committee will assess the applications, determine which projects to finance, and decide the funding amount for each. The projects will be chosen based on their potential to improve drainage and decrease the number of pollutants expelled into our waterways. Preference will be given to projects proposing “greener” stormwater solutions spanning more than one property and/or located in low-income areas, as defined by the Census.
For additional information and alternative submission methods, please reach out to Kriste Lindberg at [email protected] or at 812-349-3617.