Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Brooksville gives initial approval to fire fees ordinance

BROOKSVILLE — By a 4-1 vote, the Brooksville City Council on Monday night gave initial approval to an ordinance that would establish fire assessments for city property owners.

The measure, if ultimately passed, would give the council authority to approve an annual resolution requiring all property owners in the city to contribute toward fire protection.

Under a plan that is due to be discussed at a public hearing June 18, property owners would pay a flat fee of $106, plus $0.78 per $1,000 of improvements. That means a parcel with $100,000 worth of improvements would be assessed $78 for its improved value, and a $106 flat fee, for a total of $184.

The council is looking to raise about $600,000 with the fees to pay for fire service.

The council's action drew mild fire from Brooksville lawyer Joe Mason, who felt that the flat "readiness to serve" fee on owners of vacant properties would be unfair and chase away businesses looking to relocate to Brooksville.

"Someone with a lot worth a few thousand dollars would be getting in effect a millage increase," Mason said.

Council member Joe Bernardini, who voted against the measure, agreed, saying that a flat $106 assessment on all property, regardless of its improvements, puts too much burden on low-income residents.

"I think it's too much," Bernardini said. "I think we need to look at it some more between now and the second reading and see if there isn't a way to find something more equitable."

Council members in the past have discussed offsetting fire fees with a reduction in the city's property tax rate. However, any potential reduction in the tax rate was not addressed during Monday night's meeting.

The final reading of the ordinance will be at 7 p.m. June 18.

In other council action, the council approved two charter amendment questions that will go before voters Nov. 6.

The first amendment would allow council members to serve three consecutive four-year terms, rather than two. The second would allow the forfeiture of office by any council member who moves outside the city limits.

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

Comments
Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans-born saxophone player Charles Neville has died at age 79. His career dated back to the 1950s and included gigs backing up B.B. King among others. But he was best known for three decades of performances with his siblings Aaro...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick Scott suspends Hernando official facing prostitution charges

Rick Scott suspends Hernando official facing prostitution charges

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson from his position on Thursday, a week after the 71-year-old commissioner was arrested on prostitution-related charges.Nicholson was arrested April 19 on charges of operating a loca...
Updated: 1 hour ago
So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

So many kind words on Rays’ Jonny Venters, Matt Duffy close

BALTIMORE — LHP Jonny Venters ran through some pretty good emotions Wednesday night when after battling through a series of elbow injuries, he made it back into a major-league game for the first since 2012 — with a four-pitch out and a ga...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hernando High student accused of threatening to shoot up school

Hernando High student accused of threatening to shoot up school

BROOKSVILLE — A 17-year-old Hernando High School student was arrested Wednesday for threatening to shoot people at the school, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The student was serving a suspension at the time of the incident, deputie...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Details emerge in fiery crash that killed prominent Moffitt doctor

TEMPLE TERRACE — Investigators say an orange Dodge Charger was moving about 90 mph when it ran a red light and broadsided a prominent doctor’s car last month on Fowler Avenue. The impact caused Dr. Charles Canaan Williams’ Acura to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live blog: News, analysis, photos, more from the NFL draft

Live blog: News, analysis, photos, more from the NFL draft

Whether you're a fan of the Bucs, Gators, Seminoles, 'Canes or Bulls, you'll want to follow our live coverage of the 2018 NFL draft today through Saturday in Arlington, Tex. We'll have live news, commentary, photos, videos, stories and more, so come...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Pete police: Man who stole car with baby inside arrested

St. Pete police: Man who stole car with baby inside arrested

ST. PETERSBURG — A man accused of stealing a car with a baby inside earlier this week was arrested Thursday morning when officers spotted him in another stolen car, according to St. Petersburg police.Rashad Webb, 19, was arrested at about 2 a.m. afte...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Long wait at Wingstop ends in brawl, hot oil and second degree burns

Long wait at Wingstop ends in brawl, hot oil and second degree burns

TAMPA — A customer visited Wingstop on Sunday night to pick up his order. What happened next was off-menu:Robert Williams said he suffered second-degree burns on his back and legs after a Wingstop employee threw hot oil on him during a scuffle.Willia...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its annual Prime membership fee by 20 percent starting next month. The company said Thursday that Prime members in the U.S. will now pay $119 a year, up from $99, starting May 11 for new members. The new pric...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Column: What Democrats can learn from Emmanuel Macron

Column: What Democrats can learn from Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump don’t agree on much. Macron is a globalist; Trump is a nationalist. Macron is a free-trader; Trump just imposed protectionist tariffs on steel and aluminum. Macron wants the United States to remain in Syria;...
Updated: 4 hours ago