Manatee County Government Administrative Center Honorable Patricia M. Glass Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - September 24, 2019
September 24, 2019 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #61

Stormwater Fee Consideration


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Chad Butzow, P.E., Director Public Works, Ext. 7476

John Osborne, Deputy County Administrator, Ext. 6825

Action Requested

In matters pertaining to the establishment of a Stormwater Utility Fee:

  • Authorization for County staff to commence with a Public Information Campaign to educate the citizens of Manatee County on the potential establishment of a non ad valorem assessment on the annual tax bill for a stormwater utility fee for unincorporated Manatee County at a monthly rate of $7.34 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), and to report back to the Board of County Commissioners on the results of the campaign, no later than December 18, 2019.
  • Direct the County Attorney’s Office to begin development of the necessary documents related to the establishment of a non ad valorem assessment of a stormwater utility fee for unincorporated Manatee County.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Florida Statutes, Chapter 125

Background Discussion

A summary of the results from the stormwater fee study conducted over the summer was presented to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) during a work session on September 17, 2019. The presentation showed the total number Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) in the county based on residential and non-residential properties. With this now a known quantity it was possible to calculate stormwater fee rates for various funding levels.

Two numbers were shown to the BCC. The first was current level of service, in 2021 costs, at $8.68/month = $104.16 annually and the enhanced level of service at $12.55/month = $150.60 annually. The majority of the BCC did desire to perform the enhanced level of service but did not like the large additional fee without seeing some offset in other revenues. 

Staff has reviewed the enhancement costs, existing costs, and potential costs of projects proposed by watershed studies already underway. From this review, staff has proposed two new fee proposals that both provide for the enhanced maintenance level for the BCC to consider:

  1. The first proposal continues funding from the solid waste fund and gas taxes and uses the new fee to cover the cost of the enhanced services. This method does not provide any dedicated funding mechanism for the stormwater project that results from watershed basin studies currently underway and planned. The fee in this case is $4.85/month = $58.16 annually.
  2. The second proposal continues the funding from solid waste at $4.5M, keeps the gas tax funds, and generates the remaining via the new stormwater fee. This plan allows the remainder of the solid waste fee ($5.1M) used for stormwater to be set aside for use for the betterment projects recommended from watershed basin studies underway and planned. The fee in this case is $7.34/monthly = $88.10 annually.

The watershed basin studies, of which the BCC will receive presentations on the Pearce Drain and Bowlees Creek studies on October 31, include a potential of 12 projects that range in cost from $2.3M to $77M. The studies do not intend all projects be constructed but provide alternatives for the County to consider. Having a set aside fund for these projects is a major step in the direction of betterment.

The existing funds from solid waste can be used for betterment projects, but funds collected from the new stormwater fee from the tax bill cannot. All funds collected via the fee must be used for items that can be considered maintenance of the entire system and thus benefit all participants. If the betterment projects were to be funded from the fee, then only those in areas that would benefit from the improvement should pay for the cost of the projects.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Stormwater Utility Fee Presentation 092419.pdf