Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando commission kills controversial water treatment plant plan

BROOKSVILLE — Facing a standing-room-only crowd of angry residents, the County Commission on Tuesday voted to cancel plans to build a water treatment plant, storage tanks and a well field next to the Sherman Hills subdivision.

Instead, the staff was told to look for another site to meet future water needs and make the system more efficient, which were the stated goals of the plan.

Residents of Ridge Manor West and Sherman Hills have been protesting the plan since the beginning, questioning why the county would put such a facility so near to a built-up neighborhood.

They have voiced concerns that the pumping might drain their own wells or create sinkholes. Residents also said they worried about the chemicals that would be used at the treatment plant and the two, planned 2-million-gallon water storage tanks.

Last month, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-1 to recommend approval.

In November, the County Commission agreed to pay $470,000 to purchase the property from Lee Pallardy Inc. Profit Sharing and 401K Plan contingent on the land use change. The land had previously been approved for 244 duplex and apartment units.

With the commission's unanimous vote Tuesday, the contract to buy the property is voided.

Commissioner Nick Nicholson said the amount was too much to pay for the property, especially during a down market for vacant land. He also noted that there are plenty of other nearby, available parcels not surrounded by residential neighborhoods.

Commissioners Jim Adkins and Diane Rowden asked about using a site the county already owns on Kettering Road that had previously been rejected because the high price — $800,000 — of running a water line to the site from the existing wells near Sherman Hills Boulevard.

County officials were also concerned about using that site because it is next to a sewage treatment plant that will need expansion in the future. Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said that when the sewer plant needs expansion, there will be even more public outcry.

Rowden noted that there were three votes not favoring the site and there might not be a need for the dozens of residents to come up to speak when the project wasn't moving forward.

Dukes called a break in the meeting at that point.

Commissioners scattered in the room talking about the issue with groups of residents while County Administrator Len Sossamon spoke with the utilities staff. When the commission reconvened, Dukes announced that the administrator had canceled the project at the Lee Pallardy site and asked the staff to look for another plan.

The audience erupted in a chorus of "thank you" and the residents, most of them dressed in red to protest the plant, filed out.

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

Comments
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Chances are, I’ll go down as the Boy Who Cried Flood.You might have noticed, I’ve been shouting about the imminent calamity of flood waters for quite a few years now. If I wasn’t trying to frighten you into buying flood insurance, I was worrying you ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Delta bans pit bulls as service dogs, sparks backlash

Delta bans pit bulls as service dogs, sparks backlash

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines says it’s no longer allowing passengers to fly with "pit bull type" dogs as service or support animals, a policy that’s being met with criticism by groups that train service dogs and the people who use them.The Atlanta-based...
Updated: 6 hours ago