Manatee County Announces stormwater updates for 2020
MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County Administrator Cheri Coryea today announced a revised plan for stormwater improvements and funding for the coming year.
"By February we will bring to the Board our recommendations for immediate steps to address the most severely impacted areas to ensure we're doing what we can to avoid flooding and enhance water quality," Coryea told County Commissioners today. "At that time we'll also bring you our data-gathering plan and report completion for 2020 to fully address the common concerns we've heard so far. By first quarter 2021 the Board will have a comprehensive stormwater report and a list of appropriate projects to make a strong decision on the most appropriate stormwater rate."
Five upcoming informational meetings with the public have been canceled as County staff prepare a detailed plan that will be presented to County Commissioners in February. The canceled meetings were scheduled for Nov. 8, 12, 25 and 26 for each County Commissioner to speak to residents about the proposed fee.
"We’ve been listening to the public and many of the outstanding questions they have about how will agricultural lands be handled, potential incentives for homeowner associations and community development districts that pay a stormwater fee for privately owned stormwater systems and more," Coryea said. "In coming months, County staff will continue working with our stormwater consultant to resolve or address many of the public concerns."
Coryea said the extra time will also give non-profit and commercial owners more time to budget for a stormwater fee in 2021. Commissioners agree that more is needed to improve stormwater maintenance throughout the County but they have not yet taken a position on what a stormwater fee should be.
In September Commissioners were presented with two proposed stormwater rates, most homeowners would pay $58.16 annually and allow the County to double its stormwater maintenance efforts to address both water quantity and water quality. A proposed higher rate -- $88.10 per year for most homeowners -- would also improve efficiency and enable the County to improve water quality and the countywide system to address areas that flood most frequently.
For many years, Manatee County residents have looked to County leaders for help with local flooding conditions and standing waters on roads after heavy rains. An extensive, efficient stormwater drainage system is the County’s best way to address local flooding. Environmental leaders say stormwater maintenance enhancements will also improve water quality conditions and help prevent harmful nutrients reaching water bodies to feed red tide and blue-green algae.
For more information on Manatee County's stormwater system visit
www.mymanatee.org/stormwater. A related County website details how the County's stormwater program currently operates.
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit
www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.