The Tampa City Council will revisit the issue of reclaimed water, specifically, whether to put on the ballot a referendum asking citizens if they want to drink highly treated wastewater.
Actually, the Council agreed to do so back in June. But the controversial nature of it demands, apparently, more discussion. Just a few weeks ago, the issue was discussed at Council and both Linda Saul-Sena and John Dingfelder again spoke strongly against it. Saul-Sena had said that she had read an op-ed where Mayor Iorio spoke against it.
Miranda said that in fact wasn't the case. Nevertheless, recalcitrant Council members have put the issue back on the agenda for today's meeting.
Water is always a political issue in the Tampa Bay area, but it especially has been a potent one in 2009.
The Council voted 6-1 earlier this year to ban lawn water sprinkling, going far beyond what any other local government did this year, as the drought dominated news headlines back in the spring.
Miranda's proposal is hardly radical, as he is sure to assure the Council and those watching today's meeting. By that I mean other places in the country are using this method. And the fact that the city dumps 55 million gallons of reclaimed water every day into the Bay is hardly a reason to maintain the stas quo.
Last night the Council approved Mayor Pam Iorio's $754 million dollars budget, with the main topic of discussion being whether they should restore a million dollars into making Zack Street in downtown an "avenue of the arts."
Actually, the city wanted $2 million. The Council stripped that money out of the budget earlier in the month. Last night, neighborhood services administrator Santiago Corrada showed up, hat in hand, politely asking the council to restore a million. They did, with Mary Mulhern and Linda Saul Sena saying "nyet."
Today the St. Pete City Council meets. Councilman Karl Nurse is expected to ask a committee to use new revenue to come from energy franchise agreements to help pay for energy efficiency upgrades to homes and businesses that would reduce the use of electricity. This is good timing, as a new report says Florida hasn't been spending much money at all on such weatherization actions.