In the spring of 2015, Montpelier’s Planning & Community Development and Public Works Departments received a VTDEC ERP grant to create a city-wide stormwater master plan. The City hired the consulting team of Stone Environmental and Greenman Pedersen to develop the plan.
Stormwater master planning at the municipal scale offers two primary benefits: A broad overview of existing conditions and future considerations based on anticipated development, and the opportunity to identify stormwater mitigation projects that have the greatest return on investment.
Goals for stormwater master planning, and for Montpelier’s Stormwater Master Plan, include:
- Identifying as many needs as possible, along with conceptual projects or solutions to meet those needs
- Prioritizing potential projects based on criteria that account for both local and state-level priorities
- Supporting the near-term implementation of one (or more) projects
- Providing a basis to move from reactive, one-off projects to a comprehensive and proactive program
The consultant team collaborated with the City to develop a thorough understanding of previous work and the City’s current related activities. Information was inventoried, assessed, and documented from a variety of sources. Through this work a total of 58 potential problem areas were identified throughout the City. The stormwater problem areas identified through the screening were carried forward through a more detailed examination and prioritization process that considered possible regulatory changes, future growth, and the suitability of different types of best management practices to each identified problem area.
The highest priority opportunities were advanced to concept design, including:
- Green stormwater infrastructure opportunities to be incorporated with planned road reconstruction and combined sewer separation.
- Addressing areas of steep slopes and concentrated flow adjacent to neighborhood streets.
- Addressing erosion and drainage issues in Hubbard Park’s gravel road network, using strategies that include ditch and culvert improvements, plunge pools, and ditch turn-outs to sediment basins.
- Supporting Montpelier’s Department of Public Works on-going effort to decrease roadway width (where applicable) to reduce the amount of impervious surface, and therefore reduce stormwater run-off by developing approaches for road shoulder protection and restoration following pavement and subbase removal.
In addition, three sites were chosen as models for illustrative concepts for integrating green stormwater management practices into other City infrastructure (such as roadways and parking lots) in the future.