Markham's stormwater management and drainage systems are key components of the City's infrastructure that help protect the environment and reduce the risk of flooding to private property. Recent studies have identified capacity limitations in older drainage systems that would require significant investments to upgrade.
While most of the City's stormwater management activities are adequately funded through existing sources, a long-term sustainable funding source for flood control projects did not exist. Staff, after extensive consultation with Markham residents and businesses at Community Meetings, recommended the implementation of the Markham Flood Control Program, and the associated funding, to come from the Stormwater Fee.
The Flood Control Program is a long term, City-wide initiative to improve storm drainage capacity and limit surface and basement flooding risks in urban areas. Improvements will provide a more consistent level of service across Markham and help protect both public and private property. The program will also make critical infrastructure more resilient to climate change and extreme weather.
While the City’s program will improve the effectiveness of its drainage systems over the long term, businesses and residents are encouraged to take action to reduce the risk of flood damage on their own properties. This can often be achieved through maintenance of their private drainage system, or where appropriate, implementation of improvements or practices that can reduce flood risks and damages. For tips on what you can do to reduce the risks of flood damage on your property article (PDF) in the fall 2014 issue of Markham Life, a good source of current information on Markham projects, programs and plans.
To help fund the program, the implementation of a City-wide Stormwater Fee was adopted by Council on November 26, 2013. This Fee will pay for flood control improvement works that lower flood risks and provide a more consistent level of service across the City.
To help fund the program, a City-wide Stormwater Fee will be charged to all properties. These fees, combined with Canada Gas Tax funds, will provide dedicated funding for both approved and future storm infrastructure improvement projects City-wide.
The annual rate for residential properties, effective January 2015 is $47 per property unit. The residential fee will be charged once a year through your Markham Tax Bill. Non-residential properties will be charged in 2016.
Recognizing the importance of drainage services and the potential impacts to residents and businesses, Community Information Meetings were scheduled to provide background on Markham's Stormwater Management Strategy and flood control needs. The sessions provided an opportunity for feedback on adopted flood control policies and funding sources.
Consultation with the public and stakeholders about City-wide Stormwater funding options presentation materials used at the meetings: