Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County poised to raise water, sewer rates

Pinellas County is poised to become the latest government to raise water and sewer rates even as consumption falls.

The County Commission will have a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to consider rate increases for water and sewer customers.

If passed, the typical household, which now pays $64 a month, would see water and sewer charges increase $1.50 a month starting Oct. 1. It amounts to a 3.5 percent increase for water and 1.5 percent for sewer service.

If a household is one of 27,000 Pinellas customers with reclaimed water, the monthly cost would increase another $5.

The timing of increases during a recession has irked some residents — particularly when the county's water use has dropped by a third since 2006 as conservation increased.

"You ask us to conserve water, and now that we have, you want to penalize us," resident Kathryn Speigel wrote in an online complaint to the county.

But utility officials shift the blame to rising charges by Tampa Bay Water, the regional water authority, and costs to keep the system running. Reclaimed water, for example, costs more than the fees from customers generate.

"There are still costs that have to be covered to maintain the utility," said Kevin Becotte, interim director of Pinellas County Utilities. "Their bill may actually be going down if they're using less water, even if the unit price is going up."

The St. Petersburg City Council approved a water rate increase of 7.5 percent, despite protests from some residents that in these economic times, the hike was too steep.

Only Wengay Newton voted against the rate increase. The increase goes into effect for the city's October water bill.

The average customer who uses 5,600 gallons will see his bill increase by $4.15 a month, from $55.66 to $59.81. That's the biggest annual increase since 2003.

It was necessitated because Tampa Bay Water, which is where the city gets its water, raised fees to the city by more than 16 percent, said Mike Connors, administrator of the city's public works.

Times staff writer Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report. David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8779.

Fast facts

If you go

Pinellas County will hold a public hearing to take comments about the planned sewer and water rate increases. County Utilities provides water to unincorporated areas of the county, Largo, Seminole, Kenneth City and beach cities. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the fifth floor of the Pinellas County Courthouse at 315 Court St. in Clearwater.

Pinellas County poised to raise water, sewer rates 09/25/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 25, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  2. Crash at U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park kills one, shuts down traffic

    Accidents

    PINELLAS PARK — A man is dead after a crash between two cars at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and 70th Avenue N just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Pinellas Park police are investigating the death of a man during a crash on U.S. 19 early Saturday. (Pinellas Park police)
  3. Tropics watch: The latest on Harvey and what systems could hit Florida

    Weather

    While Eastern and Central America monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, two tropical disturbances are moving through the Atlantic.

  4. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  5. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lucas Duda in the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on Friday.