Flood victims willing to pay for storm drain fix

We saw last week how damaging heavy rain and flooding can be.
 
Hillsborough County leaders say they have a plan to upgrade aging storm drains, but it may cost you.
 
Families are still cleaning up on Whittier and Hamilton streets in Tampa after Friday's rain storm. 
 
"We're seriously considering moving now because we were trapped in our home for two days," said Tanisha Wright, picking up debris. 
 
"See my mailbox?” Demetrick Wright said. “All the way from the top of the mailbox was under water. That’s how flooded the street was."
 
Karen McLeod lives just one street north and says floodwater found its way inside her home. 
 
"It was up to the middle of my back door and came in and flooded my whole den," said McLeod.
 
It's not just residents that say storm drains need an upgrade.
 
The Hillsborough County Commissioners say nearly $200 million worth of repairs are needed. But the county has nowhere near that type of cash.
 
The solution they’re putting forward: Pulling $5 million from the general fund for next year with a possible rate increase paid by the community over the next six years. 
 
"I'd be willing to pay a higher rate just to secure that I’m not going to go through this flood again. Absolutely," McLeod said.
 
Right now residents each pay $12 a year toward storm drain improvements and maintenance. 
 
Commissioners say they'd like to double that. Those we spoke with had no objection to that.
 
"Again, being stuck here for three days, not being able to go grocery shopping – that was a pain,” Wright said. “So I have no problem with a rate increase at all."
 
And some are wondering why it's taken so long.
 
"They wouldn’t want to live through this, so try and do something to fix it," Tanisha Wright said.
 
The soonest Hillsborough County residents could see the rate increase is 2016. Upgrades from that money would come after that date. 
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