Stormwater Program Has New Face, Roles and Name

Friday, April 7, 2017
Stormwater Program Has New Face, Roles and Name
Terry Hackett and Heather Fisher work to protect the environment while improving stormwater operations for the town.

A new employee is among changes in the Town of Hillsborough’s stormwater operations.

Hillsborough resident Heather Fisher started working this week as the town’s new stormwater coordinator. The new position is primarily responsible for implementing the town’s Phase II stormwater permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Specifically, Fisher will implement and oversee the town’s illicit discharge and stormwater pollution reduction plans, and she will be responsible for ensuring compliance of the town’s post-construction stormwater program.

“I’m excited to add Heather to our staff. She has terrific experience and brings a skill set that will complement our existing programs,” said Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager Terry Hackett, who was promoted from his former role as stormwater program manager in October.

Fisher has worked for 15 years in the water quality and stormwater management field. In her previous work as an environmental consultant, she specialized in stormwater management solutions that achieve environmental, economic and community benefits. In one of her recent projects, Fisher led a green stormwater infrastructure strategy for the City of Clarkesville, Georgia, which involved identifying retrofit opportunities that would help revitalize the city's downtown, alleviate flooding, and protect the Soque River, which flows through the city. She has also worked on many local projects, including the City of Durham's Third Fork Creek Watershed Plan, the City of Raleigh's Green Infrastructure initiatives, and the State of North Carolina’s Morgan Creek Local Watershed Plan, which includes Orange County, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro.

“As a Hillsborough resident, Heather already has a passion for protecting the Eno River and our environment,” Hackett added. “I’m also excited that we now have dedicated resources allowing us to increase the stormwater and environmental services we provide our citizens.”

The town’s stormwater operations transitioned from the Stormwater Management Division to the Stormwater and Environmental Services Division last summer to better reflect its expanded role. Part of the expansion includes the stormwater management utility and associated fee, which were implemented last July. The new division not only manages the town’s stormwater program but also provides environmental support to other departments, including environmental review.

In addition to supervising the stormwater program coordinator position, Hackett now manages billing, budgeting and expenditures of the stormwater fund; represents the town in regional water quality efforts, such as the Upper Neuse River Basin Association and Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force; and oversees the town’s compliance with the state Falls Lake Rules, rules intended to restore the lake’s water quality by reducing upstream pollution.