Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Delays threaten Hernando Beach dredging

BROOKSVILLE — Eager to see some action on the stalled Hernando Beach channel dredging project, county commissioners on Tuesday agreed unanimously to look at a new site to dump the dredged sand.

The old site has caused so many delays that county officials are worried Hernando could lose the $6-million in state funds allocated for the $9-million project.

"If that $6-million disappears, so does the dredge project,'' said Commissioner Rose Rocco,

The site now being considered is 5 acres on a 50-acre county tract on the east side of Shoal Line Boulevard that used to be the Hernando Beach wastewater treatment plant. The plant shut down two years ago.

But the owner of the original site urged commissioners not to drop interest in that plan.

Cliff Manuel of Manuel LLC said he had been working with the county for several years and has an agreement with the county to place the dredged materials on his family's property on Eagle Nest Drive. The company wants to build a residential development called Eagle Point there and the county has already granted a conditional plat for the homes.

Manuel said he wanted to help the county by providing a site for the county to dump the sand. He noted he would benefit because the sand would raise the site a bit above sea level.

The state and county have had permitting problems with Manuel's site. County officials have gone multiple rounds with the state Department of Environmental Protection, first proposing filling wetlands on the site, then temporary wetlands filling and then no wetlands filling at all.

As the DEP prepared to issue a permit, two groups from the Eagle Nest community filed petitions seeking an administrative hearing on largely environmental grounds.

One group has been granted a hearing in October on a petition that Manuel has sought to dismiss.

The other group is expecting to get a hearing as well.

County officials are concerned that the hearings and appeals could tie the county up for months, delaying the project, first proposed in 1993, and jeopardizing the state funds.

Manuel told the commission Tuesday that the cooperation with the county ended earlier this month when the county decided to pursue the alternate site.

He told officials that moving the spoils site would only move their problems, not alleviate them.

He warned that the Army Corps of Engineers would likely have issues with the plan and that putting the sand on top of land where contaminated sewage sludge has been dumped would be a problem.

Like problems his site posed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Manuel said that the county's site will pose similar complications because it is in the 100-year flood zone.

He also warned that there could be continued concerns from another set of neighbors. He urged the county to work with neighbors to settle concerns about his site.

Manuel also predicted that costs could soar to half a million dollars plus the additional $146,400 to the consultant to study and prepare permits for the new site.

County Administrator David Hamilton said that the issues raised would all be outlined as that consultant explores the new site and goes through the permitting process with it.

"It's time to get the sand out of the sea and get people back to boating," he said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Delays threaten Hernando Beach dredging 09/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kriseman and Crist rally troops for final push in St. Pete mayor's race

    Blogs

    Elections have consequences. Donald Trump. Charlottesville.

    Rick Kriseman and Charlie Crist pose for a group photo Wednesday evening with progressive activists at Allendale United Methodist Church
  2. The FHP trooper behind quota on speeding tickets will resign Sept. 5

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Highway Patrol official's call for troopers to meet ticket quotas has cost him his job.

    Major Mark D. Welch, Troop Commander of Troop H, wrote an email asking his employees that he wants them to write two citations each hour. "This is not a quota," he wrote. His resignation is effective Sept. 5. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  3. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  4. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  5. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]