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1,000 Sign BorderNEW:  Mulching leaves can improve stormwater quality and quantity. Interested in joining those who are helping keep our stormwater clean and prevent flooding and erosion? Sign up by September 1, 2021 at the 1,000 Households Who Mulch page.  

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MCIRIS LogoNEW:  Native Plant Sale.  Save the Date - Saturday, September 11, 2021, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Switchyard Park.  

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Many property challenges start with stormwater quality and quantity issues; below are a few opportunities that can help.

In this section, you will find information on:

 

  1.  Residential Stormwater Grants 2022 (DEADLINE:  Tuesday, February 1, 2022)
  2.  Site Visits and Resources 
  3.  Stormwater Education Series (Under Construction)

 

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 1. RESIDENTIAL STORMWATER GRANTS 2022

IT'S NOT TOO EARLY TO START COORDINATING FOR RSG 2022.  This website will be updated as details become available.  For 2022, we expect the program to be similar to 2021.  Please contact us for more information.

RSG 2022 Flyer

 

Please see the information, below, to apply for a Residential Stormwater Grant in 2022:

Currently, the grants are only available for,

  • single-family, owner-occupied homes on private property
  • those who pay the City of Bloomington's stormwater fee (to check, see your water bill).

 

In 2021, $70,000 was available for projects (2019, $35,000, 11 projects; 2020; $70,000, 16 projects).  

Residential Stormwater Grants Brochure, Page 1

Residential Stormwater Grants Brochure, Page 2

 

Please follow the procedures listed, below.

 

1)  Confer - Contact us about your project. We would like to brainstorm with you regarding your ideas and set up a Site Visit (while keeping with current, recommended protocols in relation to COVID-19). Contact: Kriste Lindberg, Stormwater Education Specialist, stormwater@bloomington.in.gov, (812) 349-3617.

We also suggest that you read the information listed under "Resources" and "3. Stormwater Education Series", below, for some information that will be helpful for you in making decisions.

Note:  As stormwater tends to be connected on large scales, make sure you collaborate with your neighbors (it's also just a neighborly thing to do!).  You can submit on the same Application.  Please designate one point of contact and include all names/addresses in your Application.

 

2)  Public Information Meeting (optional but recommended) - The Public Information Meetings will be held in December  2021 and January 2022, please watch this website and/or contact us for details .  A copy of the 2021 PowerPoint presentation is hereA copy of the Community Access Television Services (CATS) 2021 recording is here (it is just under 30 minutes in length).

 

3)  Guidelines - Read the Guidelines, they will help you with everything from next steps to project ideas and maintenance suggestions.  As mentioned previously, the "Resources" and "3. Homeowner Education Series" sections, below, also provide helpful information on understanding even more in detail about stormwater and practices that can help with drainage such as rain gardens, bioswales, dry creek beds, native plants, and more.

Here is a sample Grant Agreement; you will be expected to sign a similar document if you are awarded a grant.  

 

4)  Contractor - Find a contractor (we suggest getting three opinions but choosing only one). You are welcome to use any contractor you wish. 

Make sure you obtain an Estimate, at least as close as possible, as it will be needed to complete your Application, see below; in addition, make sure it does not include tax (CBU is tax exempt).

Be mindful of regulations in relation to property lines, permits, easements, right-of-ways, alleys, conservancies, and so on as you and your Contractor are responsible for taking them into account (you may need a professional survey done; if so, the grant, if awarded, will cover the costs) .

Below is a list of suggested questions to ask a contractor while making your selection:

  • Do they work on small projects?
  • Are they licensed, bonded and insured?
  • Do they have drainage experience and, if so, what is it?
  • Are they familiar with native plants and invasive plants?*
  • Will they provide you with plans (a sketch), including maps, as well as an itemization?
  • Will they give you examples of projects they have completed?
  • Will they offer you their references?

 

* A note about plants: Something to keep in mind regarding plants for your project... As of April 18, 2020, the Indiana Terrestrial Plant Rule (312 IAC 18-3-25) went into effect. There are 44 plants on the regulated list. They tend to be invasive and some actually harm water quality. For example, bush honeysuckles even exude chemicals that keep other plants from growing nearby, hence encouraging runoff and soil loss. Therefore, it is now illegal to sell, gift, barter, exchange, distribute, transport, or introduce them without a permit. Native plants are a better choice as they are adapted to local climates, support pollinators, and generally have longer roots to hold soil in place.

Regarding invasive and native plants Monroe County Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS) has a great deal of related information, including information for landowners .

 

5)  Letter of Intent (optional but recommended) - Submit an optional Letter of Intent here. Although not required, early project coordination can increase the chances of submitting a successful application. Deadline - Saturday, January 15, 2022.

 

6)  Application - Submit an Application here.  Deadline - Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  Fill it out given your current drainage situation.  Please be as clear and concise as possible. The link will also ask for the following information:

  • A definition of your preferred project 
  • Estimate from contractor, including an itemization (even if just a "ballpark" figure)
  • Project sketch (even if just "by hand")
  • Photos in JPG format (a long shot and those that show a bit more detail, as necessary)
  • Any other information that would be helpful

 

The applications will be processed through three review committees, notice of awards is planned to be given by the middle of May 2022.

 

TESTIMONIAL - 1700 S. Clifton Ave. Project

Through its Residential Stormwater Grant program, the City of Bloomington works with homeowners to improve drainage and erosion issues on their property in green and sustainable ways. In this example, the homeowner had an issue with stormwater flooding and stagnating in their backyard. Thanks to a grant and planning assistance from the city, a contractor was able to design and build a system to channel the stormwater through a bed of water-loving native plants to absorb and clean the water before discharging it to the city stormwater system.

The homeowner first read about the Residential Stormwater Grant program in the local newspaper. After submitting an application and proposal, CBU Environmental staff replied with several ideas on ways to incorporate green design and native species. The contractor revised the design to build “up” with a berm instead of digging down to form a dry creek bed, and several trees were saved by preserving their root structure.

From first proposal to planting of native plants in the spring, the entire process took about one year, including the revision process.

“The CBU staff were really helpful,” said the homeowner in a follow-up interview. “I’m just really pleased with how it turned out."

Thank you and take good care!

 

RSG 2020 Clifton

A dry creek bed in progress (native plants will appear in the spring)
Credit:  Residential Stormwater Grants 2020, CBU Staff

 

TESTIMONIAL - 830 W. 4th St. Project

 

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2. Site Visits and Resources

Site Visits

 

City of Bloomington Utilities offers a number of ways to work with stormwater.

Site visits to homes, presentations to neighborhoods, and grants are available.

The intent is to improve the quality and quantity of stormwater while sustainably managing drainage and erosion concerns.

Image removed.

Credit: Tenth Acre Farm

 

Example projects include those for green infrastructure, including rain gardens, vegetated buffer strips, vegetated swales, culvert replacements, and more.

Additional information can be found in this Press Release.

Please contact us at stormwater@bloomington.in.gov if you would like to schedule either a site visit, presentation, and/or learn more about these opportunities.

Note: All in-person endeavors are conducted following pandemic guidelinesa..

Interested in neighborhood improvement, in general?  Check out the City of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development website.

 

Resources

 

 

Leafing Signage
Watch for this "Leafing" sign in your neighborhood!
​​​​​​

A note about plants: Something to keep in mind regarding plants for your project... As of April 18, 2020, the Indiana Terrestrial Plant Rule(312 IAC 18-3-25) went into effect. There are 44 plants on the regulated list. They tend to be invasive and some actually harm water quality. For example, bush honeysuckles even exude chemicals that keep other plants from growing nearby, hence encouraging runoff and soil loss. Therefore, it is now illegal to sell, gift, barter, exchange, distribute, transport, or introduce them without a permit. Native plants are a better choice as they are adapted to local climates, support pollinators, and generally have longer roots to hold soil in place.

 

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3. Stormwater Education Series (Under Construction)

In the works...

We hear you!  An educational series, bringing together expertise from various departments and community organizations, is in the process of being developed for homeowners, neighborhood associations, and homeowner associations based upon observations derived by stormwater concerns expressed through the Residential Stormwater Grants program and more.  The program includes expertise from related City departments and community organizations in a "one-stop-shopping" format.  Our intent is to provide proactive, positive and productive education on stormwater to limit its negative impacts on land and the built environment (of particular importance as our climate changes) to help with quality of life aspects. 

The evolving series will consist of presentations that are hosted over Zoom (including moderated sessions) as well as on this webpage, complete with voiceover, related resources and more; when the time is right, we will go "live" and in person.

 

Topics include:

  • A definition of stormwater in context to Bloomington and the surrounding area
  • Our changing climate and its impact on stormwater (and your property)
  • Adapting to the challenges
  • Local soils in relation to the built environment
  • Landscaping techniques to prevent erosion and preserve soil (and benefit structures)
  • Stormwater practices that help with drainage concerns
  • Connecting parcels and working at a watershed level
  • Maintenance of stormwater features, including rain gardens, swales, dry creek beds, ponds, etc.
  • Public/private and green/gray infrastructure interfaces
  • Working together for mutual benefit
  • Available grants and other City-related endeavors that coordinate nicely with the Residential Stormwater Grants program
  • Good examples
  • Other steps communities can take to help with stormwater quality and quantity concerns
  • Possibilities
  • Resources
  • More!

 

Presentation titles include:

  1. What is Stormwater?
  2. Watersheds and Weather
  3. Stormwater and the Built Environment
  4. Landscaping to Improve Drainage
  5. Working with the City of Bloomington
  6. Stormwater Tips to Improve Quality of Life

 

Cracks in clay soil due to excessive dryness
Cracks in clay soil due to excessive dryness

 

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Back to the Stormwater home page

To report a stormwater concern, use the uReport website

For more information on stormwater, in general, please visit our Stormwater Education page

For information on adopting a storm drain, please visit our Adopt-a-Drain page