Water-Related News

Pinellas commissioners approve stormwater fees

Video: Pinellas County watershed manager Kelli Levy is interviewed on PCCTV
about County water resources and why the stormwater fee is needed

With more than half the county's lakes and creeks falling below state water-quality standards, requiring millions of dollars to repair, Pinellas is joining the band of municipalities that charge a stormwater fee.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the County Commission voted 6-1 to approve a rate schedule that charges business and home­owners according to how much of their property is covered by asphalt and concrete and is considered nonpermeable. The larger a person's home, the more winding their driveway, the more Pinellas will bill them. The new fees will affect about 128,000 land parcels in unincorporated areas of the county.

Norm Roche was the dissenting vote.

County officials expect the fees will generate $17.9 million next year that, combined with Penny for Pinellas money, would give them $27.5 million annually to spend on pipe maintenance, drainage systems and efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous in the county's water bodies.