Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulfport poised to raise water, sewer fees

GULFPORT — Both water and sewer rates are set for a major jump as city officials struggle to offset higher costs and generate enough money to repair aging systems.

On Tuesday, the City Council tentatively approved a 7.75 percent increase in water rates and a 22.32 percent increase in sewer fees. A second and final vote is scheduled for the council's April 21 regular meeting. If approved, the new rates will appear on May bills.

Gulfport buys its water from St. Petersburg through an agreement with the Tampa Bay Water Authority. St. Petersburg also treats Gulfport's wastewater.

"It's necessary to replenish and maintain our existing fund balance and comply with our purchase contract with St. Petersburg. They are presently selling us water cheaper than their residents can buy it," Interim City Manager Jim O'Reilly told the council.

Neither Gulfport nor St. Petersburg has any control over the cost of water. That price is set by the supplier, the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority.

The city's administrative services director, Dan Carpenter, told the council that when the current water contract expires in 2016, another "sizeable increase" of up to 25 percent is anticipated.

Similar cost increases in the past were subsidized by the city. Capital improvements to the water delivery system also were delayed, Carpenter said.

Gulfport residents using an average of 4,000 gallons of water a month currently pay $19.25 for water and $20.67 for sewer services.

The proposed new monthly rates for that level of use would rise to $22.72 for water and $26.28 for sewer.

The new water rates would range from $5.02 to $7.69 per 1,000 gallons, depending on overall water usage. The minimum rate applies to water usage of up to 3,000 gallons a month.

The new monthly sewer rates would range from $6.24 to $7.56 per 1,000 gallons, also depending on the total level of water usage.

Carpenter said that even with the increase, Gulfport's water and sewer rates will remain among the lowest in Pinellas County.

Newly elected council member Sam Henderson said the hikes are necessary. "The numbers sound bad, but I went through some of my past bills and this equates to a $6 to $8 a month increase," he said. "It's something we need to do if we are going to maintain our utilities."

In addition to bringing Gulfport's rates more in line with St. Petersburg's, the $476,100 increase in annual revenue will provide money to repair and replace the city's aging water and sewer lines.

Since 2003, the city has spent $4.3 million on improving the city's water and sewer infrastructure. Another $6.1 million is scheduled to be spent in the next five years.

Gulfport poised to raise water, sewer fees 04/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 11, 2009 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. EU announces record $2.7 billion antitrust fine on Google over search results

    Business

    BRUSSELS — The European Union's antitrust chief announced a record $2.7 billion fine against Google on Tuesday, saying that the powerful company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping website.

    The European Union's competition watchdog has slapped a record 2.42 billion euro ($2.72 billion) fine on internet giant Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service. [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Forecast: Muggy, warm conditions across Tampa Bay as afternoon storms stay mostly east of I-75

    Weather

    A muggy and slightly wet day is in on tap for Tampa Bay as most of the rain sticks east of Interstate 75 in the afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Trigaux: No more VinikVille as Water Street Tampa finally arrives

    Business

    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  4. Finally, Jeff Vinik's vision has a name: Water Street Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — For years, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the real estate executives he employs have been dreaming how to transform 53 acres of downtown Tampa into a major hub of living, working and entertaining in the city's core.

    Strategic Property Partners announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. This rendering shows the Tampa skyline with SPP's future buildings in place. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  5. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

    Blogs

    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

    Future