Hillsborough County Commission votes to not renew Pluris water c - WNCN: News, Weather

Hillsborough County Commission votes to not renew Pluris water contract

Posted: Updated:
Water in East Lake neighborhood Water in East Lake neighborhood
Protestors at County Commission Protestors at County Commission
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A group of Tampa residents who bound together to fight their private utility company won a big battle Wednesday.

Frustrated residents in Tampa's East Lake neighborhood, near the Hard Rock Casino, protested at Wednesday's Hillsborough County Commission meeting. Thirty residents spoke at the meeting, pleading with commissioners to help.

About 1,000 residents in the neighborhood are forced to get their water from a private utility, Pluris American Infrastructure. Residents say their water is often cloudy, with chunks floating in it, and their bills are more than double what residents on county water pay.

County officials say the utility needs major upgrades and that's why water quality is up to residents' standards, even though samples have come back in "acceptable" ranges.

8 on Your Side profiled the neighborhood's problems this week and was there Wednesday when residents addressed the county commission.

The commission had a big decision to make because Pluris, which has operated this utility for the past 10 years, wanted to renew its contract for another 10 years. In the end, the commissioners voted 7-0 to deny the utility's request.

Related story: Tampa neighborhood complains of cloudy water

"This is more than just about good drinking water and infrastructure," said Commissioner Kevin Beckner. "This is about social justice. This is an issue of equality and social justice."

Commissioners want the county to buy the utility and improve the water system.

But this vote won't change things soon. Pluris isn't for sale, and the county will have to fight Pluris in court, in order to persuade a judge to force Pluris to sell.

So, in the meantime, residents are stuck with Pluris.

"I think that after over two years of coming down here on different issues regarding Pluris, our commissioners have responded, and that's their job," said Hal Hart, a Pluris customer and East Lake resident.

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk



  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:33:05 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Hyundai recalls 888,700 Sonata Sedans

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:14:48 GMT
    Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled. Over 800,000 Hyundai Sonata Sedans have been recalled.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
    Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers.The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years.Stay connected with the news of the day.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:33:05 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Gymnastics coach accused of sex with Brandon teen bonds out

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:02 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:02:32 GMT
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
    Justin Henry, a 21-year-old gymnastics coach accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, is out of jail Thursday morning. 
  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:25 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:25:05 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Teen accused of torturing tortoise faces sex charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:58 AM EDT2014-07-31 07:58:27 GMT
    Greece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCNGreece's mug. Image Clay County Sheriff's Office/FCN
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
    The teen accused of setting a protected tortoise on fire and killing it also faces sex charges after an encounter with a boy, FCN reported Wednesday.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.