Tampa water projects fall victim to Gov. DeSantis’ veto pen
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clean water funding
2 vetoes represent $5M in losses to the region.

Two projects related to water-related projects in the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve won’t receive the funding lawmakers approved in the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, as part of his more than $500 million veto list, nixed a $2.5 million Tampa Bay Water project at the site that would rehabilitate old wells and another $2.5 million for a continuity of operations center (COOP) at the site for the city of Tampa water department.

The COOP funding, requested by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and carried in the House by Rep. Fentrice Driskell, would have funded half of the overall project.

The facility would provide an alternative safe operating location for the city of Tampa in the case of an event that made the city’s main treatment facility, distribution yard or call center unusable.

The project is part of the city’s historic $2.9 billion PIPES plan, a funding plan for large-scale sewer and water infrastructure improvements that would renew infrastructure, prevent breakdowns and provide long-term fixes to the city’s water and wastewater systems.

The funding request notes that “in a best-case scenario” the center would never be needed. “But in the event of a natural disaster or other disruption to elements of the City’s water system, this COOP will serve as a backup facility to keep water flowing through pipes to city residents and businesses.”

The Morris Bridge Wellfield improvement funding approved in the budget, but vetoed Thursday, was double what Rep. Lawrence McClure requested. The funding would have helped pay for the rehabilitation of 15 wells currently in service, as well as the demolition of five wells currently out of service.

“The rehabilitation would include installation of new pumps, motors, piping, electrical and arc flash components” to provide a more reliable system, the request notes.

McClure wrote in his request that the project would reduce operational and maintenance costs through the utilization of more efficient pumps and instruments.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 15, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Looks like $5 million more of State of Florida’s money will instead be going for Rhonda’s campaign expenses. Prove it ain’t so, Rhonda. Release State of Florida expenditures having to do with you, like used to happen under the Sunshine State’s Sunshine Law before you decided to have State of Florida pick up the tab for your campaign and got yourself exempted from FOIA requests on your expenditures. Only one reason for changing the law to allow you to hide your expenditures, Rhonda, and that is: You got something to hide!

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