Water-Related News

Haines City’s stormwater fee may change

HAINES CITY — The City Commission has elected to move forward with an ordinance that would change the process for assessing stormwater runoff fees from a flat rate to a sliding scale based on how well a property retains rain water, cutting down on runoff.

The commission voted 5-0 Thursday night [May 19th] to approve the first reading of an ordinance that changes the criteria for assessing the fees from simply acreage to more impervious rates.

Public Works Director Addie Javed said that move also lays the groundwork for the city to give mitigation credits for property owners who make efforts to reduce runoff.

The commission had previously approved setting a maximum increase for stormwater runoff fees at 20 percent, which would take the annual fee to property owners from about $54 to about $65. Also proposed is a $5 administrative fee that would cover some of the hidden costs associated with the fees, like sending out notices and paying Polk County to assess the fee with property taxes.

The city is slated to collect about $500,000 in stormwater revenue in the 2016-17 fiscal year, which can only be used for water and wastewater purposes. That total could increase to about $645,000 if the full increase and administrative fee is approved.