Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cost to clean up old public works site in Brooksville keeps growing

BROOKSVILLE — The cost of cleaning up the toxic soil and water at the old public works complex in south Brooksville continues to grow.

The County Commission agreed this week to pay engineering firm Cardno TBE $102,777 to expand the remedial action plan for the project and to provide administrative services during the bidding and construction process.

The previous consultant on the project, Creative Environmental Solutions Inc., had written a remedial action plan as part of the last extension in their project but it did not include a menu of cleanup options. Instead, the firm's president, George Foster, suggested fencing off the property and leaving it in a passive state with long-term soil monitoring.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has suggested providing alternatives in the proposed plan so that if one cleanup method failed, the county could move to another without having to go through the lengthy approval process again.

Recently, the DEP granted the county a 120-day extension to submit the plan.

Cardno TBE was selected for the project from a rotating list of engineering firms that the county uses. Projects costing less than $200,000 can be done using these firms without bidding the work.

Creative Environmental Solutions had been chosen to do the work at the public works site in 2005 with a non-bid contract for $77,051. Through expansions in the scope of services, which up to this point have consisted of extensive soil and water testing, the company has been paid more than $2 million.

To date, the county has spent more than $3.35 million on the project and has not yet begun to clean the site, which was contaminated over the years by petroleum and other chemicals spilled there.

County commissioners agreed months ago that in the future, the continuing work on the project would be opened up for other firms.

County officials have talked about future use of the property for recreation such as basketball courts. That idea has gotten a favorable reaction from community leaders wanting to provide activities for area youth, assistant county attorney Erica Moore told commissioners.

But Commissioner Jim Adkins voiced some concern about the appropriateness of using a contaminated site for recreation. "Years down the road, what if a child has a disease?" he said.

Susan Goebel, interim public works director, assured commissioners that the site would be cleaned up to state-set environmental standards and would not pose a risk.

In other County Commission business:

• Commissioners listened for more than an hour Tuesday to attorney Bruce Snow, who talked about the background and history of former public works director and county engineer Charles Mixson.

The presentation was the center of a name-clearing hearing for Mixson, who was fired by County Administrator David Hamilton in January for a series of performance problems including delays in projects such as the public works site cleanup.

Snow detailed reasons why Mixson believed the termination was unwarranted, pointing to the ongoing delays in the cleanup project and the Hernando Beach Channel dredge as showing that regulatory agency delays and unforeseen circumstances are frequent in such complex projects.

Snow said that the opportunity to clear one's name was a constitutionally protected liberty. He asked that the transcript of the hearing be placed in Mixson's file and suggested it wasn't too late to laud Mixson for his quarter-century of service to the county.

Mixson did not speak other than to affirm the truth of what Snow told commissioners. There was no discussion by the commission at the end of Snow's presentation.

• Commissioners also learned that for the second year, the county was unsuccessful in securing a grant through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program to make improvements to Kennedy Park in south Brooksville.

Earlier this month, the county received a letter explaining that the park improvement project was reviewed and ranked, but there were not sufficient funds for all the projects on the priority list.

Park users and parks and recreation officials have long sought more parking, sports lighting and playground equipment to enhance the park and had hoped the state funding would come through to make those changes.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Cost to clean up old public works site in Brooksville keeps growing 07/28/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault


    WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Barack Obama shake hands at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. [Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
  2. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. [Associated Press]
  3. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  4. Manslaughter charges eyed in deadly London fire sparked by refrigerator


    LONDON — Manslaughter charges are among the offenses under consideration in the devastating Grenfell Tower blaze that killed 79 people, London police said Friday.

    A view of part of the Burnham residential tower on the Chalcots Estate showing the bottom section of the building after cladding was removed, in the borough of Camden, north London, Thursday, June 22, 2017. Tests so far have found that at least three high-rise apartment buildings in the U.K. have flammable external panels like the ones believed to have contributed to a fire that killed 79 people in London, Britain's government said Thursday. The local council in Camden, a borough of London, removed cladding from one of its buildings for further testing after tests they commissioned showed some of their panels were of the flammable variety "and not the ones they ordered." It was unclear whether the Camden example was one of the three mentioned by the government. [Associated Press]
  5. PolitiFact: 6 questions about the Senate health care bill and transparency


    Now that a Senate health care bill has been unveiled, senators will be jousting over its provisions to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington on June 20. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)