Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

County, tower company reach settlement on drainage project site

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County has reached a settlement with a communications tower company that will allow the county to resume work on a project to help alleviate chronic flooding in south Brooksville.

The work was halted earlier this month after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order. In November, American Tower Asset Sub LLC filed a complaint against the county over the drainage project, on Jefferson Street next to the South Brooksville Community Center.

The company said the drainage project was on land that ATAS was leasing for its tower at that site.

Earlier this year, the county began to excavate a portion of the 5.6-acre site, which it purchased in 2010 from Dauson Supply Corp. The county has a long-term plan to alleviate flooding in south Brooksville, and this drainage project is a key first step.

The complaint details a dispute between ATAS and both the county and the former owner over what portion of the property is leased to the tower company. ATAS maintains that it leases a larger portion of the site while the county and the previous owner said a much smaller section is leased.

The tower company alleges that, because the construction of a retention pond partly surrounds the tower, it will "cause permanent damage to ATAS's ability to access, operate and maintain'' its equipment. It would also pose a threat of structural and flooding issues, the complaint said.

On Tuesday, deputy county attorney Jon Jouben told county commissioners that the county had reached a settlement with the company. ATAS would agree to drop its opposition to the project in exchange for improved access to its site and an easement to a small area where it could expand its tower facility in the future.

Commissioners approved the concept of the settlement, allowing staff to draw up formal paperwork and get work restarted at the site.

Time is of the essence because, as Jouben wrote in his federal court paperwork, if the project is not completed by Jan. 31, the county could lose up to $350,000 in funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, which is pairing with the county to complete the job.

Jouben told commissioners that the agreement with the tower company means work can begin again, and "it does not put our Swiftmud funding at risk.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

ST. PETERSBURG – Jake Bauers hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Rays defeated the Yankees 7-6 in front of 23,667 at Tropicana Field to complete a three-game sweep Sunday. It's the first time the Yankees have lost three straight t...
Updated: 6 minutes ago

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, local players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But hockey?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Winnipeg Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forwar...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURGSuspect dead, 2 injured in home invasion, shootingThree people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the peop...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

A Tampa man suffered life-threatening injuries and his 3-year-old son is in serious condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as they went on a family bike ride Sunday afternoon."This is a family in a very tough situation," Tampa Police De...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A jogger accidentally crossed into the US from Canada and was detained for two weeks

A jogger accidentally crossed into the US from Canada and was detained for two weeks

The coast of White Rock, British Columbia, in western Canada looks to be an ideal place for a run, with its sweeping views of the Semiahmoo Bay to the west and scores of waterfront homes and seafood restaurants to the east. Thatís what 19-year-old Ce...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

TAMPA ó Stripped to the girders, the old Bromley office building looked about as substantial as fish bones on a dinner plate.But the 5-story structure proved Sunday it still had a surprising amount of fight left in it.A demolition team had planned to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Updated: 5 hours ago
President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

STERLING, Ill. - As a longtime editor of small-town newspapers, Jeff Rogers has seen his industry face the collapse of print advertising, the rise of the internet and more. Today, his 18 employees work in a newsroom here that puts out two daily newsp...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG ó A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Updated: 9 hours ago