Water-Related News

Creation of New Stormwater Utility Hinges on Study Results

Four of seven Pinellas County commissioners expressed reluctance Feb. 1 to take action toward establishing a new stormwater utility. First, they want to see the results of a stormwater governance study.

Pete Yauch, director of transportation and public works, told commissioners that a Feb. 22 public hearing had been scheduled on a resolution the board needs to pass informing residents of its intent to create a stormwater utility to fund water quality needs instead of continuing to use ad-valorem taxes.

The resolution would not be a commitment by the commissioners to implement the utility, but is necessary if a decision is made in the future to create the utility for fiscal year 2012, Yauch said.

County Attorney Jim Bennett said outside counsel had been hired to go over the draft ordinance to make sure it is defensible.

"When do we get the report?" Commissioner Neil Brickfield asked. "I don’t know what we plan to collect. ...