Water-Related News

Haines City could become 1st in Polk to exempt churches from stormwater runoff fee

As anticipated, a stormwater runoff fee exemption for religious organizations would do little harm to the city budget, but it also would be an unprecedented move.

City Manager Jonathan Evans said the city expects to bring in about $530,000 this fiscal year in stormwater runoff fees, and about $9,000 of that will come from religious organizations.

Stormwater runoff fees also have been imposed in Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Lake Alfred, Lakeland, Mulberry, Polk City and Winter Haven. Churches are not exempt from the fees in any of the cases, although in some cases, they are granted credits.

On behalf of a number of pastors, Landmark Baptist Church Pastor Mickey Carter first raised the issue about exempting religious organizations at the Dec. 17 City Commission meeting.