Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

City's lawyers weigh in on Brooksville's reclaimed water project

BROOKSVILLE — Attorneys for the city of Brooksville have asked a judge to reject a motion for a temporary injunction filed by two property owners at Southern Hills Plantation Club who want to stop the city from going ahead with plans to complete a reclaimed water project.

The city's response, filed in October, refutes the motion filed in August by James and Paula Holliday and Gary and Cynthia Sutton, demanding that the city freeze the remaining funds from a $3.5 million court settlement until the city completes infrastructure and road paving on Real Tree Lane in Southern Hills' Phase 3, where their undeveloped lots are located.

Attorneys with the Hogan Law Firm, which represents the city, argued that the property owners were premature in their motion and that the city "never expressed an unwillingness to proceed with the construction of needed infrastructure."

The reclaimed water project was part of the original 2003 deal between the city and Southern Hills developer LandMar Group LLC, which agreed to share in the cost of upgrading the city's wastewater treatment facility with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which provided a $1.1 million matching grant for the project.

The treatment facility was to provide up to 750,000 gallons of treated wastewater for use in irrigating the development's golf course and residential yards.

But LandMar's 2008 bankruptcy filing and subsequent abandonment of the development changed all of that. To pay for completion of the infrastructure, the city began foreclosure proceedings last year on more than $20 million in performance bonds from three surety companies.

In June, the city settled cases with two of the companies for $3.5 million. Twenty-five percent of the money — or $875,000 — went toward legal fees incurred by the Hogan Law Firm. The third lawsuit remains unsettled.

Last year, the City Council approved a resolution stating that any recovered money would go toward the unfinished infrastructure at Southern Hills. The resolution, however, did not stipulate what parts of the project would be completed first.

In August, Brooksville City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha defended the decision to complete the reclaimed water project as quickly as possible, saying further delays could prevent the city from meeting a February 2012 deadline set by Swiftmud to use the grant money.

Norman-Vacha also said that city staffers continue to work with Greenpointe Communities, the company that acquired Southern Hills last year, in coordinating plans to complete all of the infrastructure.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

City's lawyers weigh in on Brooksville's reclaimed water project 11/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 7:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando readies for possible rally at county's Confederate monument

    Public Safety

    BROOKSVILLE — Law enforcement officials have readied themselves in response to a string of social media rumors about possible rallies at the Hernando County courthouse Friday afternoon centered around the Confederate soldier statue that sits out front.

    Hernando County's Confederate monument stands on the courthouse lawn in downtown Brooksville.
  2. What to watch this weekend: 'The Defenders,' 'Halt and Catch Fire,' 'What Happened to Monday'

    Blogs

    Slow burn: The Defenders

    First there was Daredevil, then Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist followed. Now, the superheroes team up for The Defenders. The new Marvel series on Netflix follows the city's unlikeliest heroes as they struggle with their own personal vendettas …

    Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones in The Defenders.
  3. Bill Nelson celebrates Steve Bannon's departure

    Blogs

    Bill Nelson likes what he sees Steve Bannon getting the boot:

  4. Algae bloom and fish kill confirmed in Old Tampa Bay

    Environment

    An algae bloom and fish kill have been confirmed in Old Tampa Bay from Safety Harbor to the south end of the Bayside Bridge.

  5. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's former IT worker, his wife indicted in bank fraud scheme

    State Roundup

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's former information technology aide and his wife have been indicted on bank fraud charges.

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, photographed in her Sunrise office. (Mike Stocker/Sun-Sentinel/TNS)