BOCC approves new contracts for stormwater management

Stormwater grate with water flowing in

Today is the final day of Severe Weather Awareness Week, and today’s theme is how to prepare for flooding. Johnson County Government plays a large role working with cities to manage stormwater projects, to alleviate flooding and improve water quality. Yesterday, March 10, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized term and supply contracts with nine vendors for stormwater management services.

Johnson County’s Stormwater Management Program has used a term and supply contract for multiple years as a way to expand the program to address specialized needs without having to hire more staff. Examples of past efforts executed with term and supply contract vendors include watershed master planning, floodplain mapping updates, water quality sampling and system management support.

“Having contracts with multiple vendors provides flexibility and options for the Stormwater Management Program when specialized expertise is required,” said Madison Crowl, Johnson County Stormwater Management Project engineer. “Through these contracts, we, along with any other jurisdiction in Johnson County, have access to a team of specialists and can benefit from locked-in billing rates.”

Johnson County Government’s Stormwater Management Program background

The SMP partners with Johnson County cities to fund the planning, design and construction of projects to reduce risk from flooding, stream erosion and water quality challenges. Responsibilities of the SMP include:

  • Providing funding assistance for study, design and construction of stormwater improvements to reduce flooding risk in Johnson County communities
  • Overseeing county-wide Watershed Master Planning to provide guidance for comprehensive stormwater management for flooding, stream erosion and water quality risks
  • Managing grant-funded projects intended to mitigate flooding conditions and improve the water quality of stormwater runoff
  • Providing public education and outreach associated with water quality of stormwater runoff

In 1990, the Johnson County BOCC implemented a 1/10th of 1% sales tax to fund stormwater management and created the SMP. The SMP administers the funds collected through this tax on behalf of the cities and provides other types of stormwater planning assistance within Johnson County. To date, the SMP has helped cities fund more than $200 million of stormwater improvement projects with Johnson County cities.

Details on the 2022 Stormwater Management Program budget

The SMP budget for 2022 totals almost $19.9 million. It includes more than $4.8 million for assessment and replacement of stormwater system components (inlets and pipes) involving eight projects, with four located in Shawnee and one each in Gardner, Merriam, Prairie Village and Olathe.

Almost $11 million was allocated for a dozen watershed capital improvement projects to reduce flood risks in the cities of Overland Park (six projects), Olathe and Merriam (two projects each), and Merriam and Leawood (one project each).

The budget also provides funding for maintenance of the county’s stream and rain gauge network (, maintenance of the countywide flood-warning system, support to the cities for compliance with state/federal water quality regulations, and funding of studies identified by cities and other stormwater activities and projects.

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