NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio – Whether they’re in favor of the proposed maintenance plan or not, residents of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District now know the details about the method of assessment being used generate funds for the plan.
The district has proposed a 20-year, $270 million maintenance plan for flood reduction and water quality improvement in the Muskingum River Watershed. The funds for the plan will be collected through a yearly assessment to watershed landowners.
Runoff. The assessment is based on estimated runoff contribution from each of the district’s 745,800 parcels. A parcel is defined as “one or more contiguous (adjoining) tracts of land with similar assessment use codes and the same owner of record as determined by the county auditors. Such parcel may be divided by public or private roads or streams and still be considered one parcel under this plan.”
Using a geographic information system, an assessment is computed from the parcel area, a runoff factor taken from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and an assessment use code that labels land as residential, commercial, agricultural or industrial.
Sample. A statistical sample of 600 residential parcels in the watershed showed an average impervious area of 3,300 square feet on this type of property. Impervious area is the amount of hard surface on a piece of property, such as buildings, sidewalks and driveways, that contributes to runoff.
According to information provided by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, a residential parcel is 25 percent impervious. The impervious areas on other types of parcels are: commercial, 85 percent; industrial, 72 percent; parks, 1 percent; and mobile home areas, 25 percent.
All residential, agricultural and vacant properties will be assessed one equivalent residential unit. Other types of parcels will be assessed based on their estimated contribution to runoff.
For example, on 1 acre of commercial property, the estimated impervious area is 85 percent:
1 acre = 43,560 ft.
43,560 x 0.85 = 37,026 sq. ft.
37,026/3,300 = 11 ERU
One ERU = $12 per year
11 ERU x $12 = $132 assessment per year
The following are examples of average assessments: