Inverness wants to develop a plan aimed at preventing some of the flooding issues that afflicted the city during last summer’s heavy rains. The stormwater master plan is part of the city’s overall infrastructure development plan.

City officials believe that having in place a plan and a system to handle stormwater runoff is an important part of encouraging further development in the city. This would create opportunities for local residents and would generate additional tax revenues for the city.

The city plans to hire an Orlando-based firm to assist in development of the plan. The consultants will work with city staff and the Southwest Florida Water Management District and review previous reports in order to document and map problem areas throughout the city.

Currently, main arterial roads in the city are the only roads with stormwater infrastructure such as curb inlets, which feed into large storage facilities. Other collector roads, particularly in residential areas, do not have these kinds of drainage facilities or storage to prevent flooding during large storms.

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The planned stormwater management plan will identify and document flood-prone problem areas, evaluate the city’s existing stormwater management systems and make recommendations for specific improvements. The consultants will also discuss possible funding opportunities for stormwater work.

With portions of the city routinely dealing with stormwater runoff during heavy summer storms as well as during tropical systems, planning for handling stormwater runoff seems like a reasonable and prudent part of overall planning for the city.

While none of us can predict precisely when there will be rainfall heavy enough to challenge the city’s stormwater management systems, we can with great certainty predict that there will be heavy rains in the future, and when these occur, they will challenge existing systems. If this water is not moved timely, it will lead to flooding in low-lying areas.

Planning for handling this water, and installing the necessary systems to do it, is a part of prudent planning and is a reasonable part of an overall infrastructure plan.