Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulfport to seek loans for sewer system repairs

Gulfport is going to fix its sewer lines.

The City Council has authorized the mayor to apply for a $1 million state revolving fund preconstruction loan with the Department of Environmental Protection. The five-year loan would have a 2.35 percent interest rate.

After the system is evaluated, the city plans to apply for an additional $2.5 million loan to do the repair work. That loan would be amortized over 20 years with an interest rate to be determined at the time of application. The two loans would be wrapped into one with a blended interest rate.

When underground sewer lines get holes in them, they take in water — water that St. Petersburg measures and charges for. Gulfport pays St. Petersburg to treat its wastewater.

Officials estimate that a third of the treated water leaked into the 50-year-old system.

Public Works Director Don Sopak has compared how the city's bills differ between dry and rainy periods.

"In March, we had 8 inches of water in three days. The next month, we paid $30,000 more," Sopak said.

In the relatively dry 2008-2009 fiscal year, the city paid St. Petersburg $686,500 to treat its water, Sopak said.

Last year, a relatively rainy year, the city paid $937,600 because of infiltration costs, Sopak said.

The evaluation, which is expected to be done in October 2013, is to figure out what areas in the city's nearly 42 miles of sewer pipes are in the worst shape. Manholes — there are 713 in the city — will be repaired, and repairs will be made where major inflows are found.

The city does not expect to increase costs to taxpayers unless St. Petersburg raises its rates, City Manager Jim O'Reilly said.

Although the rates are typically increased 3 percent to 5 percent per year, the city expects a 25 percent increase when its contract is up in 2017, O'Reilly said.

"It's a very deteriorated system in very bad shape," Mayor Mike Yakes said.

Gulfport to seek loans for sewer system repairs 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    Here are some events to help you celebrate this year's pride celebration:

    George Michael Tribute Unveiling

  2.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  3. Rick vs. Rick: St. Petersburg sewage crisis edition


    ST. PETERSBURG — For nearly two years, the political stench of a sewage crisis has permeated City Hall.

    Rick vs. Rick are battling to become St. Petersburg mayor. Former mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right.
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  5. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.