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Motor coach group gives Hernando two more weeks to negotiate

BROOKSVILLE — After hundreds of motor coach enthusiasts packed up and pulled out this past weekend from their annual rally at Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport, officials of the organization that sponsors the event gathered Monday morning to talk about the future.

They have been considering a new site for the 2014 Southeast Area rally of the Family Motor Coach Association after 15 years in Hernando County.

The association's leadership agreed to give Hernando officials two weeks to put together a proposal to keep the rally, according to county Commissioner Diane Rowden, who attended the meeting to hear the group's concerns.

"No final decisions have been made yet,'' she said afterward. "I just don't think that there is anything here we can't work with.''

One concern raised was that the group has had to do its own setup and breakdown work and could use some help. Rowden said the county might be able to help by organizing high school students who are looking for community service projects.

Jail inmates are another possibility, she said.

The lack of a building for use at the airport has also increased the association's expenses, and Rowden said the county is looking at options, but declined to give specifics.

Maintenance at the rally site, including mowing, is another concern the county can fix, she said.

The County Commission is expected to pass a resolution today telling the association how much the county and the county's Aviation Authority appreciate its business."

"They really do want to be here if we can just come up with some viable solutions,'' Rowden said.

Southeast Area chapter president Ralph Marino could not be reached for comment Monday.

Representatives of the association have been in talks with officials from the Volusia County Fair for more than a year, according to David Viers, the fair's executive director. Those negotiations continue.

Viers said that the fair association has 85 acres, three buildings and three big parking lots that could handle 2,000 to 3,000 motor coaches.

Staff writer Logan Neill contributed to this report. Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

Motor coach group gives Hernando two more weeks to negotiate 02/11/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 11, 2013 10:52pm]

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