Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Eminent domain would ease way for Clam Bayou restoration

Tons of trash have been removed from Clam Bayou since Kurt Zuelsdorf started his cleanup program in mid 2006, offering volunteers a free kayak rental if they collected a bag of garbage.


Tons of trash have been removed from Clam Bayou since Kurt Zuelsdorf started his cleanup program in mid 2006, offering volunteers a free kayak rental if they collected a bag of garbage.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will ask St. Petersburg to condemn two properties to complete the Clam Bayou restoration project.

The properties are in an undeveloped area east of the bayou, where Swiftmud plans to build a stormwater retention pond as part of the multimillion-dollar project.

The city had begun negotiating with one property owner but had trouble contacting the other, the St. Petersburg Times reported in April.

The decision to pursue eminent domain was approved by Swiftmud's Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board on June 4 and is scheduled for consent by Swiftmud's Governing Board on Tuesday. The provision includes $200,000 to cover the city's condemnation process.

"It came from discussions with St. Pete where they indicated, since it was a cooperative project, that they needed a request," said Janie Hagburg, senior engineer for the project.

If the measure is approved Tuesday, Swiftmud will make that formal request to the city.

The city's director of real estate and property management, Bruce Grimes, said he hadn't heard anything about Swiftmud's intentions.

"As soon as we get such a request we will take it to council and see how they want to proceed," Grimes said.

Clam Bayou has long been plagued by trash and sediment that flow there through an antiquated stormwater system in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The city has already bought more than 60 lots in preparation for the project, which will reroute the stormwater through a series of ponds and restore more than 120 acres of wetlands.

Todd Pressman, co-chairman of the Pinellas board and vice chairman of the Governing Board, said he was confident that the city had expended all other options in trying to acquire the properties.

"When you say the words 'eminent domain' everyone is very concerned and very cautious," Pressman said. "Personally, that's not just the last step, that's the last step after you have tried and tried."

Nick Johnson can be reached at or 893-8361.

Eminent domain would ease way for Clam Bayou restoration 06/20/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 23, 2008 8:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?



    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.