Stormwater fee increase proposal has residents angry

Pasco County residents are upset at the thought of paying more in stormwater fees.

Pasco County commissioners are considering raising stormwater fees, and that's not going over well with residents still reeling from recent torrential rains.

"I think that's absurd," said Amy Murray, who has had her home in Bass Lake flooded out twice in two years. She says the problem stems from the clogged storm drain in her front yard.

"What are they doing with the money that we're giving them now?" she asked. "They haven't cleaned this drain, they came and promised me they were going to clean it last year and this year before the storm. Nobody has done anything with it whatsoever."

"It's been horrible," said Phyllis Wilburn, who says her home in Seven Springs has flooded four times in 30 years but would consider paying more.

"If it would fix the problem I would be all for raising the stormwater fees, but I find it very odd that in Thousand Oaks the county has found funds to put in pumps," said Wilburn.

The county did just approve spending $400,000 in BP settlement money to replace pumps that run virtually nonstop in an attempt to keep the flooding down.

"I find it disgusting that they have never addressed the problem here," said  Wilburn.

The proposed increase would raise the current fee from $57 per household every year to $97.87.

"You want me to pay more for what?" said Murray.

Murray is a single mom who keeps sandbags in place year round now. She says any increase is too much.

"Even if it was two cents a year extra I don't see why we should have to pay extra. They're not doing anything with it already; it doesn't make any sense to me," she said.

County commissioners will have to make some of their own sense of the proposal soon because the stormwater problems are not going down the drain anytime soon.

There would still need to be two public hearings before any increase in stormwater fees could take place.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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