In 2015, Escambia County’s Stormwater Advisory Team (SWAT) drew up a $417 million list of 228 projects to prevent widespread flooding throughout the county. Since then, the county has spent less than 10 percent of those dollars. Escambia officials also drew up a separate list of 21 stormwater projects within its largest city, Pensacola.
Price tag: $56 million.
What they’re saying: The city has completed 15 of the 21 projects, estimated at $14 million, according to the city’s Public Information Officer Kaycee Lagarde. Two projects estimated at $1.8 million have been started but not completed and four projects estimated at $39.5 million haven’t been funded.
That includes the single largest line item on the entire list – a $31 million project to create a downtown stormwater outfall to Pensacola Bay.
How they do it: Derrik Owens, Pensacola’s director of public works and facilities, estimated that the city had funded about $35 million in stormwater projects in recent years, including many not on the SWAT list. Much of the money came from grants, he told Flood Trends.
The city has a designated stormwater utility fee that provides it with $2.5 million a year specifically for drainage projects, he said.
What the county did: While Pensacola has completed about 71 percent of its SWAT projects from 2015, the county has not been as successful. Continue reading about Escambia’s efforts here.