City of Chester Community-based Partnership
CIS’s innovative project approach aggregates projects and creates economies of scale through holistic program management, planning, design, and project execution.
Total Development Costs
Total Local Impact
In 2018, CIS launched the Community-Based Partnership (CBP) with the City of Chester, PA, and its Stormwater Authority (SAC) to meet the City’s stormwater challenges and restore aging infrastructure. Located on the Delaware River, Pennsylvania’s oldest city was severely impacted by deteriorating infrastructure, localized flooding, and polluted waterways. The City was also facing severe social and economic challenges.
After decades of white flight and population decline, the majority African-American city was in bankruptcy protection. It did not have the financial means or subcontractor capacity to implement a much-needed, large-scale infrastructure program. With an annual per capita income of just over $15,000 and about one-third of the population living below the poverty line, the City and CIS structured the CBP with the goal of utilizing the needed environmental improvements as a catalyst for local economic growth and community involvement. To generate community support, our team developed an outreach and implementation plan that was presented to residents and local businesses at community outreach meetings held in each ward and at City Hall.
The CBP is working with the local community to address deferred maintenance, water quality, and localized flooding challenges throughout the City using sustainable green stormwater infrastructure and traditional gray infrastructure best practices. CIS has evaluated, restored, and repaired the City’s 1,700 catch basins and is capturing harmful pollutants using a smart sponge technology specifically created for Chester. In 2021, when Tropical Storm Ida hit, the Philadelphia region experienced major flood damage, with the exception of Chester. The CBP provided targeted investment to critical system upgrades and an enhanced maintenance program.
The Chester CBP3 is performance-based with technical and socioeconomic goals tied to CIS’s compensation. To date, 52% of program expenditures have gone to minority-owned businesses. The partnership also has a local hiring target to create opportunities for Chester residents. Currently, local resident participation is approximately 35%, well above the goal of 15% for this community of fewer than 35,000 residents. The partnership takes a long-term approach ensuring SAC is set up for success in the future, providing enhanced water quality and sustainable green infrastructure jobs today and for generations to come.
Community Hiring Goals
The CBP has a local hiring target to create opportunities for Chester residents. Currently, local resident participation is approximately 35%, well above the goal of 15% for this community of fewer than 35,000 residents.
Stormwater Authority of the City of Chester
Source of Funding/Financing
Clean Water State Revolving Fund