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Water-Related News

Manatee intends to impose fee to address flooding woes

MANATEE COUNTY — In the year ahead, Manatee County will analyze flood-prone areas and determine how it will impose a new fee on either property tax or utility bills to pay for stormwater projects.

Last summer, the Centre Lake neighborhood near Pearce Canal and the Whitfield area near Bowlees Creek flooded during heavy rains, causing extensive damage to homes.

From Aug. 25 to Aug. 28, Pearce Canal received 13.25 inches of rain and Bowlees Creek received 17.78 inches.

In November, John Pari, a civil engineer for the county, reported that 240 acres of additional retention is needed in the Pearce Canal area and another 85 to 90 acres for the Bowlees Creek area.

Other neighborhoods, rural and urban, also complain of occasional flooding.

However, the county has no dedicated funding source for drainage projects. It has been using its solid waste fund for such purposes, though that money is supposed to be for the landfill and most recently had to be used to pay for the removal of vegetative debris from Hurricane Irma.

On Tuesday, the County Commission discussed how to pay for canal maintenance, dredging and other work to improve drainage and reduce flooding.