Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando Beach Channel dredging permit expected soon

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners on Tuesday signed an agreement for the county to accept $6-million from the state for the long-awaited Hernando Beach Channel dredging project.

That means that if the state Department of Environmental Protection tells Hernando officials that the two needed permits will be issued, the county can accept those millions. The overall project is expected to cost $9-million, with Hernando County paying the balance.

Commissioners got even better news from the assistant county engineer who has been heading up the project. Gregg Sutton told them that he expects notice by the end of this week that the first permit, the one needed to straighten and lengthen the channel, will be issued.

The other permit needed from the state, the one which will allow the county to dump the spoils of the dredge on the upland portions of a parcel owned by the Manuel family on Eagle Nest Drive, will come in another week or possibly longer, Sutton said.

If the DEP issues a notice to permit the project, citizens have 21 days to file formal opposition. Some residents near the dredge spoils site have said they will oppose the move, which agency officials say could tie up the long-overdue project for months or longer.

Residents objected to the filling of wetlands on the Manuel property, something the county says has been dropped from the plan. They also worry about the truck traffic and question why the county worked so hard to put the fill on the site owned by the prominent Manuel family, which plans to develop the land.

Sutton said a permit is also in process with the Army Corps of Engineers and he was optimistic it will be approved soon as well, paving the way for bidding the project and beginning dredging by late summer.

"This summer?'' asked a skeptical commissioner Diane Rowden.

"This summer,'' Sutton said.

Also Tuesday:

•Commissioners agreed to allow Spring Hill Fire Rescue to keep a modular building at Station 3 at Spring Hill Drive and Whitewood Avenue. The building was to have been removed when the renovation of Station 3 was done.

The plan was to use the building at the site of the next station improvement project, interim Chief Mike Rampino told commissioners. But with all the budget constraints, Rampino said fire officials have not decided whether to move forward with other improvements or to use the building for office space or even a temporary fire station elsewhere on Spring Hill Drive as suggested in the recent fire study.

•Commissioners turned down a request to rehear a case in which the Hernando County Radio Control Club was allowed to continue its use of a 40-acre site on Benes Roush Road to fly their model airplanes. Commissioner Chris Kingsley asked if anyone wanted to hear the case and all the board members shook their heads. "Let it be, as the Beatles said,'' said commissioner Jeff Stabins.

•Clerk of the Circuit Court Karen Nicolai presented commissioners with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report including the annual audit, which was clean and contained no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses.

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

Hernando Beach Channel dredging permit expected soon 04/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 1:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Danny Rolling killed five in Gainesville 27 years ago this week


    The following story appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on October 26, 2006, the day after Danny Rollings was put to death. Also included are photos covering the period from the time of the murders to the day of Rollings execution.

    Rolling Executed

  2. Hernando commissioners propose tax-rate reduction as budget talks continue

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The typical budget battle between the Hernando County Commission and Sheriff Al Nienhuis has largely been averted this summer, except for a dust-up over how the sheriff has accounted for federal inmate money. But a minor skirmish did break out this week.

    Hernando County Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes has suggested a small rollback in the proposed property tax rate for the 2017-18 fiscal year and proposes that it be equally shared by the county's operations and the sheriff.
  3. Trigaux: As Florida seeks top 10 status as best business state, red flag rises on workforce


    In the eternal quest to appeal more to business than other states, Florida's managed to haul itself out of some pretty mediocre years. After scoring an impressive 8 among 50 states way back in 2007, Florida suffered horribly during and immediately after the recession. Its rank sank as low as No. 30 only four years ago, …

    Florida's trying to make strides in preparing its high school and college graduates for the rapidly changing skill sets of today's workforce. But the latest CNBC ranking of the best and worst states for business gave Florida poor marks for education, ranking No. 40 (tied with South Carolina for education) among the 50 states. Still, Florida ranked No. 12 overall in the best business states annual ranking. [Alan Berner/Seattle Times]
  4. Florida: White man who killed black person to be executed

    State Roundup

    GAINESVILLE — For the first time in state history, Florida is expecting to execute a white man for killing a black person — and it plans to do so with help of a drug that has never been used previously in any U.S. execution.

    This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Mark Asay. If his final appeals are denied, Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated, premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987.  [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]
  5. Ex-TPD sergeant LaJoyce Houston takes plea deal in stolen tax refund case


    TAMPA — LaJoyce Houston, a former Tampa police sergeant accused with her husband in a federal tax refund fraud scheme, has agreed to plead guilty to receiving stolen government property, court records state.

    Former Tampa police officers Eric and LaJoyce Houston walk into the Sam Gibbons U.S. District Courthouse on Oct. 28, 2015, to face charges relating to stolen identity tax refund fraud. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES