A status update on assessments, permitting, budgeting, and construction.
Long Creek Main Stem, Spring 2020
Due to the financial impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on participating landowners, the Long Creek Watershed Management District’s Board of Directors has authorized a one-time credit that will be applied against Fiscal Year 2021 participating landowner assessments. The authorized credit is equal to one-half of the Fiscal Year 2021 annual assessment for each participating landowner. The credit will be applied against the first half of Fiscal Year 2021 invoices which are sent on July 1, 2020 (if you are invoiced quarterly the credit will be applied against your July and October invoices). Therefore, participating landowner invoices sent on July 1, 2020 for the first half of the Fiscal Year 2021 assessment will reflect a balance due of $0.00. Any past due assessments are not being forgiven and will be reflected on July statements. Despite forgiving first-half Fiscal Year 2021 payments, the Long Creek Watershed Management District will continue to fully implement its obligations under Participating Landowner Agreements using cash reserves to make up for the reduction in Fiscal Year 2021 income.
The General Permit – Post Construction Discharge of Stormwater in the Long Creek Watershed, under which participating landowners file their “Notices of Intent to Comply” to obtain permit coverage for post-construction stormwater discharges, is typically renewed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) on a five-year cycle. The most recent General Permit was issued in 2015 with the permit set to expire on June 21, 2020, however, the terms of the permit also say that if the General Permit is to be renewed it shall remain in force until the Department takes final action on the renewal. Maine DEP has indicated that is does intend to renew the General Permit for another five-year cycle and has advised the Long Creek Watershed Management District that the current General Permit is “administratively continued,” meaning that the 2015 General Permit will remain in effect until a renewed General Permit is issued. Therefore, the Long Creek Watershed Management District will continue to implement the Long Creek Watershed Management Plan and invoice participating landowners in accordance with the terms of the 2015 General Permit.
The Long Creek Watershed Management District is currently working on another structural stormwater best management practice (BMP) project identified for construction in the Long Creek Watershed Management Plan. This project involves the construction of a gravel wetland and associated BMPs adjacent to Philbrook Avenue in South Portland. The project will provide treatment for stormwater from approximately 47 acres of impervious surface. The project is currently in the design and permitting phase. Construction is anticipated for later in 2020. Further details on the scope of work for the project are available in the engineering design services Request for Proposals which may be viewed on the District’s website: Long Creek South Branch Stormwater BMP Retrofits — Engineering Design Services.
At its June 24, 2020 meeting, the Long Creek Watershed Management District’s Board of Directors approved the District’s final budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The Fiscal Year 2021 budget documents are available on the District’s website: Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.
As part of the Long Creek Watershed Management District’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget, the Board of Directors approved a $295,000 allocation for a “Private BMP Incentive Program” to incentivize private stormwater management efforts. The funds will be dispersed to participating landowners as grants in accordance with an application process and guidelines, which are presently under development, approved by the Board of Directors. The Private BMP Incentive Program is designed to encourage private investment in undertaking activities that will improve water quality in Long Creek. This is particularly important at this time because significant new development and redevelopment projects are anticipated in the Long Creek Watershed during years ten to fifteen of the restoration effort. The District will make an announcement upon completion of the program’s guidelines inviting landowners to apply for available funds.
Annual Participating Landowner Meeting:
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Long Creek Watershed Management District does not plan on holding its Annual Participating Landowner Meeting in 2020. Although the District will not be able to provide an in-person update on its activities this year, a summary of the District’s activities for calendar year 2019 is available in the Long Creek General Permit - Annual Report 2019 that was submitted to the Maine DEP earlier this year. The 2019 Annual Report may be viewed on the District’s website: Long Creek General Permit - Annual Report 2019.
If you have questions about, or would like more information on, the Long Creek Watershed Management District please contact the District’s Executive Director, Peter J. Carney, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at (207) 894-4320.