The City of Hendersonville has developed a new system to help with tracking and prioritizing service requests for stormwater management.
The system was presented to the Public Works Committee in their special-called Oct. 22 meeting.
In 2018, Hendersonville started collecting a stormwater utility fee with property taxes. The City collects around $2.5 million a year from that fee. The money mostly goes to drainage projects as well as equipment and other needs, said Marshall Boyd, public works director.
When Boyd became interim public works director in 2019, he saw that stormwater complaints were being tracked in several spreadsheets. Boyd wanted a new tracking and data management system and a prioritized list of projects to be updated at least annually.
By January 2020, a ranked list of projects had been developed, but due to COVID-19, the system is only now being presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
The system, currently only used internally by the City, has a map with dots marking the location of service requests. Each request has a form that is filled out with information that citizens and inspectors submit.
For the more complicated projects, the system can generate assessment forms for use by BOMA and the City.
While the system is internal right now, the City wants to make a public portal where the public can enter their service requests straight into the system.
The project list would be prioritized using a few different criteria. First, the City would categorize projects by scope. Class A projects are big projects that need a study and intensive design calculations. For Class B projects, inspectors in the field can see what is needed, but some plans are still required. Class C projects are mostly maintenance like clogged culverts.
While the City has the flexibility to hire contractors for all drainage projects, Boyd said, the City has crews that have the primary responsibility of taking care of smaller drainage issues like cleaning and replace pipes.
Another factor used in the prioritization system is an empirical stormwater system score that gives the project a number based on flooding, erosion, maintenance, structural damage, and public health and safety.
The City will also consider the number of residents each project will serve and making sure all of the City is being helped when making the prioritized list. Also, sometimes projects have to be worked on together as one project can affect another one downstream.
The committee discussed holding listening sessions for the public to attend and bring their complaints as the prioritization process will get better with more data. They also discussed the system emailing residents after they submit a request to let them know when the next prioritized list will be released.
To submit a stormwater service request, citizens can go to the City’s website or call City Hall (615-822-1016).
Ward 1 Alderman Mark Skidmore suggested that citizens call their alderman with any requests for quicker service.