Hillsborough County residents sick of stinky, expensive water - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough County residents sick of stinky, expensive water

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What would you do if the water coming out of your tap was cloudy with chunks floating in it?

The residents of the East Lake neighborhood, near Tampa's Hard Rock Casino, are fed up with their nasty water and high water bills.

After 8 On Your Side investigation, the Hillsborough County Commission to give the private utility, Pluris American Infrastructure, the boot. The commission did not renew the private company's franchise.

But that was late last year, and the water hasn't changed. Residents say their bills are still going up.

"I think the company is trying to exact as much money from as possible, being that they know that their time is short," said Rodney Rolle, a Pluris customer.

His bill went from $89 last month to $180 this month.

Hillsborough County Commissioners are not amused.

"Something needs to be done about this," said Les Miller, Hillsborough County Commissioner.

The county has been negotiating with Pluris to buy the utility. But until the sale, East Lake is stuck with Pluris. County officials say they have been unable to strike a deal with Pluris. They say it is likely they will take legal action to force a sale.

The county sent this statement:

"We understand the concerns of the customers of Pluris Eastlake. Unfortunately, negotiations with the current utility owner have stalled. Hillsborough County is determined to find a solution that better services the customers in the area. We plan to take action and present a plan to the Board of County Commissioners next week. An agenda item has been prepared for the BOCC Board Meeting on June 18, to hasten the process of acquiring the utility. The utility purchase requires certain legal steps and we expect it to take several months before the County can take over full operations. Once the County assumes ownership of the utility, Eastlake customers can expect better service and lower rates."

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