Collier County Commissioners decided to delay a storm water fee Thursday night. The fee won't be voted on again until 2019.
People living in the county lobbied against the hike for more than four hours before the decision. Money from the fee would be used pay for projects to improve the county's drainage system.
"This is very important for our voices to be heard," said Dawn Smith of Golden Gate Estates. She's against the storm water fee, because she believes she would be paying for projects that would not impact her property.
"We found out that we're not even in the long-range plans for out here," Smith said. "So it's kind of like, are we the cash cow for (property owners) west of 951?"
The amount of the fee would vary from home to home, and would depend on the amount of estimated storm water runoff coming from individual properties.
Commissioner Penny Taylor said that if the fee passes, no single-family home would pay more than $192 per year.
"We're talking about the water that runs throughout the county," Taylor said. "So when you're traveling throughout the county, you'll see the benefit of it."
"We will credit you if you make improvements for retaining storm water on your property," she added.
Rae Ann Burton of Golden Gate Estates said that she is on a fixed income, and thinks the county should look at other ways to pay for the storm water projects.
"They need to look at other options," Burton said. "Maybe loans, mutual bonds - things like that to get the money."