LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – The city of Lynn Haven approved a stormwater assessment fee at Tuesday’s meeting.
This vote comes in spite of complaints from dozens of homeowners.
The commission meeting had a substantial turnout. In fact, the turnout was so large that some people had to watch the meeting on televisions in adjacent rooms.
The assessment is essentially a fee that is added to residents’ taxes to fund stormwater projects.
The fee will increase rates for property owners and will be based on the style and property value of their homes.
At the beginning of the meeting, many residents shared their stories about flooding and the need for something to be done about it.
“Since we have moved in. There have been 16 instances where I have taken pictures or videos of this happening which is just proof that I have of the issues we are facing,” said one resident.
Commissioner Judy Tinder even said she had discussed a moratorium on new buildings until the current infrastructure can be repaired to keep the flooding from being so extensive.
“I think it’s something we should entertain and it’s putting a moratorium against building projects until we get the infrastructure figured out,” Tinder said.
Residents also said they were concerned with this assessment and said they feel that money has a tendency to be misappropriated and do not want their taxes to increase again if nothing will change.
“It’s like taking an old worn-out car that needs an engine and a brake job and you’re painting it,” said another resident. “Fix the car first and then if we have money left over for a paint job fine we’ll paint it. fix the drainage system first.”
The mayor and city manager said that they are confident this money will be appropriated for stormwater projects only and will hold themselves accountable.
The city said these issues have been happening for 15 to 20 years and since it has never been resolved completely, the stormwater assessment is necessary.
The increase will be added onto the non-ad valorem tax assessment in the next year.
Commissioner Judy Tinder was the only dissenting vote.