downpour

When it rains or when snow melts, there are no boundaries — the water flows wherever it wants. Managing stormwater flooding and drainage discharges can be challenging and expensive for communities. In order to mitigate these problems, some of Ohio’s communities charge residents and businesses a stormwater fee in order to develop management programs, including the creation of stormwater utilities.

These stormwater management programs help municipalities be in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. Stormwater can cause debris, chemicals and soil to enter water bodies, polluting the state’s water. Ohio has at least 109 stormwater utilities and the fees vary widely from community to community, according to a 2019 Western Kentucky University survey. Ohio’s median monthly stormwater fees are $3.50, the lowest of surrounding states.

Many communities determine the fee structure based on the amount of impervious surfaces such as roofs, streets and parking lots. That’s because these surfaces create the most stormwater runoff. In some communities, agricultural properties are categorized as nonresidential, meaning they’re charged based on actual impervious surface area but often can reduce that charge through conservation efforts that reduce the amount of stormwater runoff. Those who are categorized as residential usually are charged a flat rate based on the average impervious surface area for residents.

Recently, Summit County Farm Bureau successfully argued that agricultural properties shouldn’t be charged the same as commercial and industrial sites because farmland can absorb stormwater. As a result, the Summit County Engineer’s Office’s Surface Water Management District switched from charging agricultural properties $4 a month per 3,000 square feet of impervious area to a flat rate of $4 a month, regardless of the amount of impervious area. And if an agricultural property doesn’t have any impervious surfaces, it’s now considered undeveloped and not charged a stormwater fee.

Ohio Farm Bureau membership

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
Kevin Holy's avatar
Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
David Thomas's avatar
David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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