Stormwater Utility (SWU)

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
In 2006, the City of Baxter implemented a Storm Water Utility program as a method of financing storm water management activities with dedicated funds. Each developed property in the City pays a monthly fee based on the amount of runoff it contributes. For commercial properties, this fee is determined by the amount of impervious surface on the property.

Impervious Surface definition under the city ordinance 8-4-3 is as follows:

“IMPERVIOUS SURFACE”. A hard surface area that either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil. Examples of impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to: roofs, storage areas, walkways, sidewalks, patios, driveways, parking lots, concrete paving, bituminous/asphalt paving, gravel roads or parking areas, and other packed earthen materials.”

When the Storm Water Utility was created, the amount of impervious surface coverage on a property was initially calculated from Crow Wing County Tax Assessor records. While this information provided a starting point, the Assessor records are accurate for calculating valuation and property tax, not necessarily impervious coverage. Because of this, in 2007 the City performed an audit of all commercial properties in Baxter to determine the actual amount of impervious surface on each parcel. These updated impervious surface values were generated by a combination of three methods; high-resolution aerial photography, Computer Aided Design (CAD) site drawings and field verification.

Starting with the March 2008 billing, Storm Water fees will be calculated with the updated impervious surface square footage values from the recent audit, and the rate of $0.011 per square foot of impervious surface per year. If you have any questions regarding how these new values were determined, methods used to measure the amount of impervious surface, or to request a printout of your site depicting impervious surface area, please contact the Public Works Department by phone at 218-454-5115, or by email at

SWU Documents