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Tampa city councilman: New city stormwater plan will be considered in 2016

Last November, the Tampa City Council narrowly rejected a plan by Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s administration that aimed to alleviate the Cigar City’s epic problems with stormwater runoff. But Councilman Harry Cohen suggested on Friday that there will be a new plan to vote on sometime in 2016.

“I’m confident that the city is going to put forth a new proposal this year that will be funded differently and that will look at dealing with the same problems, but perhaps come up with another way of doing that.”

The Council’s vote against the $251 million plan was certainly not an easy call, especially for council members who represent areas outside of the areas that generally get excessive flooding during a major storm.

Cohen was asked to name the four Council members who voted against the measure, but said he’d let others do that, saying that he hoped they would support a new measure. (They were Frank Reddick, Guido Maniscalco Charlie Miranda and Yolie Capin).

Speaking at the Cafe con Tampa breakfast group at Hugo’s on South Howard Avenue, Cohen said an article he read last month by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker about sea-level rise in Miami Beach has only compelled him further to address Tampa’s issues with stormwater.

“It really is a harbinger of things to come for any community that is coastal,” he said. “And for us not to take seriously this kind of a warning from a city in another part of our state would be very irresponsible.”