Manatee County Commissioners to discuss stormwater program funding, enhancements on Sept. 24

Manatee County Commissioners to discuss stormwater program funding, enhancements on Sept. 24
Posted on 09/17/2019

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Sept. 17, 2019) – During a work session today Manatee County Commissioners discussed the County's stormwater program and how to fund it into the future to improve drainage and local water quality.

For much of 2019 Commissioners have discussed the current stormwater program which helps reduce roadway flooding and improves local water quality by maintaining public stormwater pipes, ditches, canals, ponds and other structures that filter pollutants before stormwater reaches water bodies.

Commissioners are considering a stormwater fee to pay for the County’s Stormwater Program which has been funded since the early 1990s by mostly solid waste fees and property tax revenues. Next Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Commission will discuss the proposed stormwater rate and they are expected to authorize a public outreach campaign this fall to educate Manatee County residents about the program and the proposed fee. No vote will be taken on the proposed stormwater fee until after the public outreach campaign is complete.

"I totally support an enhanced level of service for our stormwater program," said Commissioner Carol Whitmore. "I don’t think citizens would endorse the level of service we provide today. To me, any delay is not listening to our voters who have requested this for years and years."

During the work session today Public Works Director Chad Butzow again explained that the County's stormwater program -- a $13.6 million annual service -- is funded through solid waste (garbage) fees, property taxes, phosphate taxes and gas taxes.

A separate presentation by the County's Utility staff on Tuesday pointed out a future need for a new County landfill. The solid waste fees supporting the stormwater program will be needed to fund a new one in coming years.

Butzow is proposing a stormwater fee similar to that imposed by Manatee County's six municipalities and several neighboring counties. Public Works has proposed two separate stormwater fee rates. The first, an $8.62/month fee for the average sized single family home, would bring in $17.4 million annually beginning 2021. A separate proposed rate of $12.55/month for the average sized single family home would bring in $25.39 million annually beginning 2021. The higher rate would fund enhance the stormwater program, meaning more frequent canal cleaning, pond spraying and street sweeping and a more efficient overall stormwater maintenance system.

On Sept. 24, the Commissioners will not approve a final stormwater rate. Instead, they are are expected to direct County staff to begin the outreach campaign and to craft the local ordinance that would be voted on at a later date to determine the monthly rate.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.