The pothole payoff - FOX 13 News

The pothole payoff

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The never-ending battle to fix potholes is especially difficult during the summer rainy months.

The city of Tampa fixes an estimated 15,000 holes a year. Once one is reported, the goal is to have the road patched up in 72 hours, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Potholes are not just a nuisance, but holes in the road can also cause damage to a vehicle. When a motorist makes a claim, it's up to the city attorney to decide whether to pay or not.

"There are many factors," said Tampa City Attorney Julia Mandall. "Was the city on notice, is it city jurisdiction, what is the type of damage, how did it occur?"

The city has paid claims over $2,500 for damages to tires and rims and as little as $137 for a scratched rim and a vehicle knocked out of alignment by a pothole.

LINK: See the list of claims (PDF)

"We pay actual damages if we feel we have liability," continued Mandall.

FOX 13 examined the data and found that many claims are denied, but the over a one-year period spanning 2012 and 2013, Tampa paid out $17,176 in claims.

"I'd rather us put more money into filling potholes before we have a claim than after the fact," said Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez.

The city is trying to make it as easy as possible to report a claim by developing an app where motorists can take a picture of a pothole and sent it directly to the city.

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