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Susan Latvala, a former Pinellas County Commissioner and board member of Tampa Bay Water from its inception through late 2014 joins The Water Values Podcast. Susan discusses the discord in the Tampa Bay area amongst the various counties and municipal governments over water supply. After a legislatively imposed solution was mandated, the affected governments negotiated an intergovernmental agreement that formed Tampa Bay Water. Susan describes how the board of Tampa Bay Water worked through their differences and gradually calmed the turbulent Tampa Bay water scene. Ever insightful, Susan stresses the importance of relationship-building amongst the utility board and the utility staff. In order to have a good, functioning utility, that relationship needs to be strong and board members and staff need to trust one another. Listen to the podcast to be enriched with Susan’s wisdom gained from 14 years on the board of Tampa Bay Water.
In this session, you’ll learn about:
- The background leading to disputes over water in the Tampa Bay area
- How the legislature mandated a solution to the Tampa Bay issues over water
- How the local governments mandated by the legislature to solve the water problem negotiated the intergovernmental agreement for Tampa Bay Water
- How Tampa Bay Water acquired its assets and funded its operations after formation
- How Tampa Bay Water funds its operations and capital projects presently
- How Tampa Bay Water built a 25 million gallon per day desalination plant
- How Tampa Bay Water dealt with construction problems on the desalination plant
- How growth impacts Tampa Bay Water’s rates
- Susan’s incredibly insightful thoughts on the relationship between the utility board the and the utility staff – listen for this reason if for no other
- How board members get educated on the water utility business
Resources and links mentioned in or relevant to this session include:
- Tampa Bay Water’s website
- Susan’s contact info
- Article and simplified schematic on how Tampa Bay Water’s desalination plant works
Click here to download the Transcript for Session 52 of The Water Values Podcast.