NewsPinellas County


Largo raises stormwater fees to make improvements

Largo Stormwater
Posted at 4:49 AM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 09:08:27-04

LARGO, Fla. — Stormwater issues have been a focus of city leaders in Largo for quite some time.

After a push asking for state help, city leaders voted to raise the stormwater fee.

In turn, leaders hope that money will help fix a lot of issues.

"So we took a look at the projected projects that we're going to be doing in the near future, and our revenue, and we just passed an increase in stormwater fees. It's like $2 a month on somebody's bill. But it's gonna really help us fund these big projects that will help keep our streets dry when it's raining," explains Largo Mayor Woody Brown.

Brown says the city has made some changes to help its stormwater problems, too. For instance, when a road needs repaired, the city also tries to make any repairs or upgrades underneath the road, too. That way the road isn't being torn up twice.

"Another thing that we've done in the last 10 years, an intentional thing is, we used to fix a road, we'd even rebuild a road entirely and ignore the pipes that were underneath that road until the pipe failed five years after we put a new road in. So now, we don't do that anymore, which causes some challenges," explains Brown.

"We fixed a lot of stormwater trouble along Trotter Road a couple years ago, and Trotter Road was closed for a year, a year and a half because we basically went down to the to the bottom and put new pipes, both potable water, sanitary sewer and stormwater pipes underneath. So we don't have to touch it for 50 years. For a long, long time. We didn't do comprehensive projects like that. So that's the biggest change, I think."

Now, the city is taking a look at Allen's Creek and the Central Park Nature Preserve to determine what the best course of action is there.

"So that stormwater treatment was installed, 15 years ago, and it's not working correctly anymore. And it's costly to maintain and costly to do. So I think that we're having somebody take a look at how we can transition that into a different treatment model. My preference would be to kind of be a more natural treatment model. You know, the best stormwater treatment is really just making the water go through ecosystems of plants and that type of stuff and let nature kind of clean the water before it gets out to the groundwater and out into the Gulf, " explains Brown.

Residents can also learn ways they can help with stormwater by clicking here.