Tampa City Council votes to double the city's stormwater fee

The Tampa City Council voted to raise the cost of the city's stormwater service fee, in hopes of alleviating pressures put on the system by even relatively-modest rainfalls.

The fee will go up from $36 a year to $82 a year.

That will increase the city's yearly take from about $6.5 million to $16 million.

"It's for a lot of miscellanenous what we call, micro projects," said the head of the city's public works department, Brad Baird.

The city will increase the number of times they clear out drain pipes, sweep streets and clear drainage ditches.

"This will make it a little more bearable," he said. "But it will not solve the problems during major flooding."

To do that, the city says it will need to collect an additional $250 million, over the next seven years, to pay for bigger improvements.

"You won't see cars floating, engines flooded," Baird said. "Where you see three feet of water from business to business, that kind of thing will go away."

Those improvements, if approved, will cost individual taxpayers an additional $100 a year, meaning by 2017, taxpayers could be paying $180 a year to prevent flooding.

The council will take up that measure on October 1st.