Frequently Asked Questions

Under what authority is GVDD allowed to collect fees? =

Our fee collection is permissible based on the Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 37, Article 31, statutes 37-31-101 and 37-31-137.

TITLE 37. WATER AND IRRIGATION
DRAINAGE AND DRAINAGE DISTRICTS
ARTICLE 31. GRAND VALLEY DRAINAGE DISTRICT

C.R.S. 37-31-101 (2016)

37-31-101. Public necessity of drainage district in Grand Valley

It is declared that the seepage conditions existing in the territory described in section 37-31-102 are peculiar to that particular territory and affect in a peculiar manner the people residing and owning property within said district. It is further declared that torrential storms affect the territory in said district in an adverse manner. It is further declared that the construction of a suitable drainage works for the protection of urban and rural property within said district will promote the health, comfort, safety, convenience, and welfare of all the people residing or owning property within said district and that the construction of said drainage works is therefore a governmental function conferring a general benefit upon all of the people residing or owning property within said district.

TITLE 37. WATER AND IRRIGATION
DRAINAGE AND DRAINAGE DISTRICTS
ARTICLE 31. GRAND VALLEY DRAINAGE DISTRICT

C.R.S. 37-31-137 (2016)

37-31-137. Property taxable and service fees chargeable by district

(1) In order to carry out the purposes of the district and the provisions of this article, the board of directors has the following powers:

(a) Within the limits of the Grand Valley drainage district, to levy taxes of the same kinds and classes upon the taxable property, real, personal, or mixed, which is subject to taxation for state and county purposes in accordance with the laws of this state;

(b) To designate specially benefited areas within the district as improvement districts and to levy, collect, and cause to be collected assessments fixed against real property in any such improvement district within the district;

(c) To fix and, from time to time, increase or decrease and collect and cause to be collected rates, fees, and other service charges pertaining to the facilities of the district and to pledge revenues derived from such service charges for the payment of district securities. The board of directors may enforce the collection of such revenues by civil action or by any other means provided by law. Service charges may include, without limitation, minimum charges and charges for availability of the facilities or services relating to the facilities of the district. Such service charges may be charged to and collected in advance or otherwise by the district at any time or from time to time from any person owning real property within the district or from any occupancy of such property which directly or indirectly is, or has been, or will be connected with the district drainage system. Such service charges, as nearly as the district deems practicable and equitable, shall be reasonable and uniform for the same type, class, and amount of use. Reasonable penalties may be fixed for any delinquencies, including, without limitation, interest on delinquent service charges from any date due at a rate of not more than one percent per month, or fraction thereof, reasonable attorney fees, and other costs of collection. The district may prescribe and, when necessary, revise a schedule of such service charges.

Why am I being charged a fee by GVDD?

Although it has been reluctant to do so, in order to maintain an adequate system and allow for future growth, the GVDD is assessing a small monthly fee of $3 for single-family homes, and a fee structure for businesses based on square footage of impervious surfaces (parking lots, sidewalks, roofs). These fees will allow GVDD to install larger pipe where it is needed to protect property from flooding and to continue to allow new developments to use the drainage infrastructure.

What does this fee cover?

Because of the increase in impervious surface that came as a result of growth and development here in the Valley, storm water runoff is double what it was when GVDD’s systems were sized and installed in 1915. All of that extra water overpowers and damages our drains that are used to convey storm water and irrigation return and seep flows. Those drain systems that are overpowered and/or damaged cannot prevent flooding. These fees will allow GVDD to install larger pipe where it is needed to protect property from flooding and to continue to allow new developments to use the drainage infrastructure.

How much does storm water runoff really impact the existing system?

In general, the amount of storm water that runs off in a given storm increases from about 10% for undeveloped, “natural” surface ground, to about 55% in heavily developed, urbanized ground (pavement). When the drainage systems used by GVDD were designed and installed in 1915, most of the District’s service area only had storm water accounting for 15% of runoff.

What if I disagree with the fee and don’t want to pay it?

The fee is a mandatory utility payment. As with any utilities, after a certain amount of time of failure to pay the bill, the bill will get sent to the State of Colorado for collection. Once that happens, you are required to pay the State of Colorado the amount of your bill, plus any additional amounts assessed for collections.

I’ve heard that I don’t have to pay the bill because the case is being challenged in court as an illegal tax.

While the fee is being litigated in court, it is a fee, not a tax nor a mill levy. As a result of the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act that deemed storm water runoff a pollutant, the Mesa County Commissioners in 1981 tasked the GVDD to take on the additional responsibility for urban storm water. As a direct result of this, in 1983 the GVDD statute was amended allowing the District to charge storm water fees to handle the increased government regulations required by the Clean Water Act. With rapid growth in the area, the GVDD finally needed to charge a fee in 2016 to pay for the maintenance and replacement with larger pipe in the most vulnerable areas.

What would happen if GVDD didn’t replace pipe?

There would be increased flooding across the valley during heavy rainfall as existing pipes overflow or suffer complete failure in attempting to handle the localized “gully washers.” Property damage would increase in a direct correlation to both the number of buildings affected and the value of the damage. Historically, we’ve already seen this in the area, from floods in Palisade that destroyed homes to flooding severe enough along North Avenue that people were able to kayak in the street. Properly sized pipes would alleviate much, if not all, of this of happening again.

Where do I mail my payment?

You can send your payment to: Grand Valley Drainage District, 722 23 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505. Please make sure to include your parcel number or account number on your payment.

How do I contact the Drainage District?

Stop by our office during business hours: 7am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday, or give us a call at: 970-242-4343.

Where is the Drainage District office located?

We’re located at 722 23 Road in Grand Junction. From the intersection of Highway 6 & 50 and 23 Road, travel north approximately 1/8 mile to 23 Rd. and G Rd. intersection. Continue north 1/4 mile. Our offices are on east side of 23 Rd.

When does the Board of Directors meet?

At 10am on or before the 10th of each month and on or before the 25th of each month. Meetings are held at the office of the District which is located at 722 23 Road. Watch our calendar for notices for each Board Meeting.

I have a request to submit to the Board of Directors. What is the best way to do that?

To help the Manager understand your request, you need to submit it as a letter explaining your position and what you are asking the District to do for you. If it is a situation that requires approval from the Board of Directors, the letter needs to be delivered at least two days before the scheduled meeting. You can mail your letter to Grand Valley Drainage District P. O. Box 969, Grand Junction, Co. 81502-0969 or drop it off at our office during business hours (Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 3:30pm): 722 23 Rd., Grand Junction.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE GRAND VALLEY

Important News & Events

STORMWATER Protection

STORMWATER Protection

IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Read more about the projects we’re working on to reduce the risk of stormwater property damage. Read more about our history.

Your Responsibilities

Your Responsibilities

FOR WATER MANAGEMENT

We’ve made it easy for you to find the resources you need, from forms to GIS maps, to help with Mesa County Planning Department’s application process for development. Click here.

Stormwater Fees

Stormwater Fees

Grand Valley Drainage District has stopped collecting fees at this time.

We appreciate your support and patience while we work on this.  Read the latest news HERE