Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Need dirt for that Rocky Point dredge and fill? The Florida State Fair is at your service

A plan to fill in a patch of open water in Tampa Bay gained a preliminary green light this week, but many more steps remain before a lagoon in Rocky Point turns from water into land for expensive town homes.

Prime Companies, an Albany, New York-area developer, still needs a permit to fill in the bay from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and approval from the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.

More details have emerged about the project that has angered nearby Dana Shores residents and environmentalists.

Prime's local representative, David B. Dickey declined comment when asked where the developer planned to find enough dirt to fill three acres of water off N Rocky Point Drive.

Dickey said late Tuesday it would be "premature" to talk about it.

Meanwhile, the story caught the eye of the Florida State Fair Authority.

On Wednesday, Brian Keller, the authority's facilities director , contacted the Tampa Bay Times to see if the developer need any free dirt.

"If this project is approved we have hundreds of yards of fill dirt we would be more than happy to donate to the project. We would not ask for anything in return, we would like to just save some money by not having to pay a trucking company to remove and dispose of it for us," wrote Keller in an email.

The local Sierra Club chapter has vowed to vigorously oppose what is likely the first significant "dredge and fill" operation in decades in Tampa Bay, but Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is staying out of the fight.

The mayor doesn't have a position on the issue. It's a council matter, his spokeswoman Ashley Bauman said in an email Tuesday.

The City Council will consider the project at its June 28 meeting.

Comments
David Straz releases new TV ad in Tampa mayor’s race

David Straz releases new TV ad in Tampa mayor’s race

David Straz has suggested he'll spend whatever it takes to become Tampa's next mayor.So far, the money he's spending on TV ads shows he appears to mean it.On Monday, the Straz campaign released the second ad introducing the 75-year-old retired banker...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Buckhorn endorses Mike Alvarez in HD62 Democratic primary

Buckhorn endorses Mike Alvarez in HD62 Democratic primary

 Mayor Bob Buckhorn has thrown his political clout behind Mike Alvarez in a hard-fought Democratic primary in a state House seat covering West Tampa and Town ‘N Country.Alvarez is battling Susan Valdes, a Hillsborough County School Board m...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Transportation and sprawl Hillsborough’s biggest woes, say commission candidates

Transportation and sprawl Hillsborough’s biggest woes, say commission candidates

TAMPA -Planners predict some 600,000 people will move to Hillsborough County by 2045, further straining the county's overburdened road network.So it's no surprise that candidates running for the Hillsborough County Commission identified reducing cong...
Published: 08/17/18
Contract to build new Howard Frankland Bridge is record $814M

Contract to build new Howard Frankland Bridge is record $814M

ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida Department of Transportation is prepared to pay a contractor $814 million to design and build a new, 8-lane Howard Frankland Bridge linking Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.A draft request for proposals outli...
Published: 08/16/18
Pinellas County’s top choice for top job: Barry Burton

Pinellas County’s top choice for top job: Barry Burton

A nationwide search ended Thursday when the Pinellas County Commission unanimously selected an official from outside Chicago to be the next county administrator.Now, all Barry Burton has to do is accept the job.It took the commission about 35 minutes...
Published: 08/16/18
A Hillsborough school board candidate strikes a nerve when he emails his pitch to teachers

A Hillsborough school board candidate strikes a nerve when he emails his pitch to teachers

This post is updated with the candidate's response.Laurie Rodriguez opened her Hillsborough County School District email and found a campaign flyer for Steve Cona, a builders association executive who is running for School Board.Rodriguez, a teacher ...
Published: 08/16/18
Hillsborough to regulate massage parlors in crackdown on prostitution

Hillsborough to regulate massage parlors in crackdown on prostitution

TAMPA – Hillsborough County has followed the city of Tampa in cracking down on illicit services like prostitution by moving to regulate massage parlors and bathhouses.County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt a law restrict...
Published: 08/15/18
St. Pete wants to get tougher on single-use plastics, polystyrene

St. Pete wants to get tougher on single-use plastics, polystyrene

ST. PETERSBURG — Food trucks, grocery stores, restaurants and any business that serves food and drink in the city could face some big changes in the way they use plastic and polystyrene products in the coming years.Imagine paying 5 cents f...
Published: 08/15/18
Pinellas commissioners interview county administrator candidates

Pinellas commissioners interview county administrator candidates

ST. PETERSBURG — The four candidates vying to become the next administrator of Pinellas County spent the past two days making their pitch to dozens of community leaders — and to their future bosses, the County Commission.Now it's a waitin...
Published: 08/14/18
Diver sues city of St. Petersburg over sewage spills, hearing loss

Diver sues city of St. Petersburg over sewage spills, hearing loss

ST. PETERSBURG —A certified diver and boat captain is suing the city, alleging that the 2015 sewage spills — and lack of proper notification — caused him to suffer a hearing loss from the bacteria he was exposed to while unknow...
Published: 08/14/18