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Paul Rolli wants answers. The Wilton Manors Vice Mayor is calling for a representative from the City of Fort Lauderdale to enter the Island City and explain the rising costs of supplying water. 

“On the water privatization,” Rolli asked City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson near the end of the Oct. 11 regular commission meeting. “If we could have someone from Fort Lauderdale come and address us so we can have a better understanding of what they’re doing and we can ask the questions we want to ask.” 

Henderson said a request would be made and Mayor Scott Newton threw his support behind uniting all small cities that purchase water from Fort Lauderdale. 

“I don’t know why all cities that are getting water from Fort Lauderdale aren’t asking the same questions,” Newton said. “We are stronger as a big group than each individual city doing that.” 

Wilton Manors bills residents for water based on usage. During the public comments portion of the meeting, resident Paul Kuta encouraged sensible revisions to water fees due to continual rate increases from Fort Lauderdale. Mayoral candidate Boyd Corbin was less diplomatic, accusing the commission of using a utility fund to increase salaries. 

“Our water bills are not some kind of piggy bank for you to give yourself fat raises with,” Corbin said. 

Corbin also warned if Fort Lauderdale privatizes its tap water, rates will skyrocket. 

City Finance Director Pennie Zuercher said Fort Lauderdale increased its water rates by 3.5% this year bringing the overall increase to 8.5%. 

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25.

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