HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- More than 250,000 people living in Hillsborough County could face a price hike in their stormwater fee.
The county is considering an increase to the annual Stormwater Utility Assessment, paid by all property owners in the unincorporated area of the county. It provides funds for flooding prevention and ensuring stormwater pollution stays out of the area's waterways.
Christina Carter lives on a fixed in come of about $1,100 a month. She says her stormwater fee would more than double next year to $92.
“That extra money, I could put it toward paying TECO, I could put it toward paying my light bill, I could put gas in my so I can go places," said Carter.
If passed, the stormwater fee could increase to nearly $200 annually for people living in a medium-sized, single-family home.
"If they have to raise the fees then we need to see some action out here," said Noelle Licor, of Ruskin.
ABC Action News obtained a statement from Public Works regarding the need for a higher fee.
"In an effort to cultivate a sustainable and financially responsible stormwater management system, with a focus on asset preservation and minimizing flood risk, the County is proposing increased levels of service for operations and maintenance, asset preservation and replacement, flood protection, water quality and hazards mitigation, to meet the long-term needs of the system and the residents of Hillsborough County. A sustainable level of funding will allow the County to invest in preventive maintenance and improvements to reduce emergency repairs and system failures."
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 10 a.m., August 7 at County Center on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.