Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Treasure Island tries to settle wastewater dispute with St. Petersburg

TREASURE ISLAND — The city is making another attempt to settle a decades-old dispute with the city of St. Petersburg over sewage treatment fees.

Treasure Island has sent a letter to St. Petersburg arguing that it is being discriminated against in the fees it is charged and asserting that its fee structure should be the same as that of St. Pete Beach, which now pays lower rates.

"We think we are identical in our use of the wastewater system. That's why we think we should be charged the same fees," Mayor Robert Minning said.

In a letter to St. Petersburg, Minning said Treasure Island is in the same user class as St. Pete Beach and uses the same pipeline that carries sewage over the causeway to St. Petersburg's northwest water treatment plant.

The city's consultant, PRMG Inc., conducted a study that the city says found the rates charged to Treasure Island "are unreasonable and discriminatory."

The city is still stipulating that it should keep the interest — about $180,721 — on $1.3 million held in escrow for a sewage treatment surcharge. A 2012 court ruling determined St. Petersburg should receive the $1.3 million and the interest.

In its offer, Treasure Island says it is willing to drop two pending suits against St. Petersburg.

The origin of the dispute goes back decades, when a regional treatment plant was built in St. Petersburg to handle wastewater from Treasure Island and other beach communities.

In 2002, St. Petersburg came to a new agreement with St. Pete Beach. New wastewater fees "created a deficiency in the cost of wholesale wastewater service which had to be made up" by increasing wholesale wastewater rates to Treasure Island and other clients, city attorneys charged.

But St. Petersburg Assistant City Attorney Jane Wallace said the rate being used for Treasure Island was the one the city chose in 2004.

"It is the uniform volume rate the city selected, so it's hard to understand why they now don't want the rate they picked," she said.

St. Petersburg reviews its utility rates annually, Wallace said.

A previous settlement offer by Treasure Island in July to the city of St. Petersburg was turned down.

Treasure Island tries to settle wastewater dispute with St. Petersburg 03/11/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  2. Airbnb on track to shatter tax revenues brought in last year

    Business

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.
[Bloomberg file photo]

  3. PSTA foresees no service cuts as it rolls out proposed 2018 budget

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will unveil the first draft of its 2018 budget at Wednesday morning's meeting of the governing board.

    A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus leaves the terminal at  3180 Central Ave. in St Petersburg in 2014. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  4. What you need to know for Wednesday, June 28

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    St. Petersburg will finally break ground today on its long-awaited downtown Pier. [City of  St. Petersburg]
  5. USF's 'Black Pulp!' and 'Woke!' exhibits reframe African-American representation

    Visual Arts

    The concept of being "woke" is inextricably woven into the zeitgeist. To be truly woke, you have to be aware of not only current social injustices, but also the historical fight against prejudice.

    Renee Cox’s Chillin with Liberty (1998) is part of the “Black Pulp!” exhibition at the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum.