Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

First Brooksville Brownfields meeting draws interest from residents, business owners

BROOKSVILLE — About a dozen city residents and business owners listened Monday evening as the Environmental Protection Agency outlined the scope of a $400,000 Brownfields assessment grant that will be used to identify and assess troubled properties, with the goal of making many of them developmentally viable once again.

The meeting was the first step in establishing a community redevelopment task force that will work with the Brownfields program team to help build an inventory of properties and to ensure that the community has a say about which properties should be targeted for investigation of possible underground contaminants.

"The community's input is very vital to the success of the program," said Brian Kvam, project manager for the EPA's Southeast Brownfields program. "Not only does it help us to identify properties in need of remedial help; it gives us an idea of where any money will be best spent."

While the grant does not pay for any cleanup costs, it will cover the expense of investigating and sampling of properties deemed valuable to future development in the city. The grant includes $200,000 for the assessment of hazardous substances and another $200,000 to investigate properties thought to be contaminated by petroleum products.

According to Kvam, the assessment will be done in two phases, the first of which will be to create a broad list of sites where certain industrial and agriculture activities once took place, including cattle dipping vats, scrap metal salvage yards, dry cleaners, and car and boat repair shops.

Project consultants will then begin to pare the list down to include sites where there is strong evidence that contaminants might still remain.

The second phase of the assessment will include a thorough search of the identified properties for evidence of activities that might have caused contamination. Soil and water samples will be collected.

EPA representative Kathleen Curry said that the focus of Brownfields assessments is limited to properties that are considered eligible for reuse in developable areas of the city. Such determinations, she said, will be made through criteria established by the EPA.

"It's not for someone who just wants to sell the property for a profit," Curry said. "There has to be some value there that will enhance the economic viability of the city and will produce jobs in the community."

Brooksville community development director Bill Geiger said he was pleased to see a turnout of city residents eager to take part in the task force, and hopes to add to the ranks as time goes along.

"Getting as many citizens as possible involved is vital to making the assessment project work," Geiger said. "In time, we'll have a good idea of where any federal or state environmental cleanup funds can be put to good use."

The next meeting of the Brooksville Brownfields Task Force will be at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at Coney Island Drive Inn, 1112 E Jefferson St., Brooksville.

For information about the task force, call (352) 540-3815.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Where’s the new VA clinic going? Not in the city of New Port Richey

Where’s the new VA clinic going? Not in the city of New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY — The federal government’s search for a home for its new Veterans Administration community outpatient clinic is focusing on the Little Road corridor in west Pasco.Three locations in the running for the VA clinic are identified in the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa man rescued from near drowning in waters off Whiskey Joe’s

Tampa man rescued from near drowning in waters off Whiskey Joe’s

A Tampa man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries on Sunday after he was rescued from a near drowning off the shores of Whiskey Joe’s Tampa Bar & Grill, a popular hangout on the beach of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.When police officers a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen could not be reached Monday for comment. City officials said he has submitted plans for rem...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hernando Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD: Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill was the recipient of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

ST. PETERSBURG — In November 1969, at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Force Capt. James White and his wife Sharon enjoyed their last night out together, dining on hotel room service with family friends Neil and Janet Armstrong.It was four months af...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian before fleeing the scene on Sunday night.Police say the driver struck an unidentified woman near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

At the current rate of restoration work, some estimate it will be 550 years before certain types of coral are removed from the endangered species list."I don’t know if that timeline works for you," Scott Graves, director of the Florida Aquarium’s Cen...
Updated: 3 hours ago