Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough looks at charging more to pay for fixes after flooding

TAMPA — Recent flooding has county commissioners evaluating ways of increasing Hillsborough County's stormwater fund, which could include raising the fee residents pay.

It's too late to increase the fee for next year, but commissioners voted Wednesday to ask the county administrator to allocate $5 million of the county's 2014-15 budget for stormwater projects. This money will serve as a bridge to funding some necessary work until the county can evaluate a potential increase in the annual fee residents pay.

Commissioner Les Miller added the item to the agenda in light of flooding that happened on Friday and Saturday. Heavy rains flooded streets, stranded motorists and canceled events throughout the region as authorities cautioned residents not to drive through standing water.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner acknowledged that the county has long neglected investing in its infrastructure.

"Boy, did it show this weekend," Commissioner Sandra Murman agreed.

Since 1991, single-family residences have been charged $12 each year for the stormwater fund, which addresses improvement projects, a culvert replacement program and a pollutant discharge elimination system. The fee, which has not seen an increased since its inception, generates about $6 million annually.

Miller said the county faces more than a $200 million backlog in stormwater work that needs to be done.

"It's time that we start looking at where we are and what we're doing with our infrastructure," he said. "The county infrastructure is aging. It's deteriorating."

Commissioners asked staff to put together a five-year plan starting with the 2015-16 budget that considers increasing the stormwater fee along with other funding sources such as bonds.

Public Utilities Department director John Lyons said the staff would need to evaluate pending projects and set priorities before reporting back to the board with a proposed plan and payment methods.

A fee increase would involve a separate public hearing and notification process, Lyons said.

"It has to go through a lot of public input," Lyons said. "We can't just raise the fee."

Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.

Hillsborough looks at charging more to pay for fixes after flooding 05/07/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Toddler, 1, drowns in spa at birthday party in Trinity

    Accidents

    TRINITY — A toddler drowned at a birthday party Saturday evening and died at the hospital, authorities say, after his parents found him in a spa.

  2. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  3. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  4. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  5. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.