Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commission okays new permit to help track sinkhole reports

BROOKSVILLE — The investigation of sinkhole activity in Hernando County will now require a permit under an ordinance approved Tuesday by the County Commission.

Commissioner Wayne Dukes had brought the issue to the board for consideration as a way to better track sinkholes "cradle to grave.'' The ordinance, approved 4-1, adds a permit for investigating a sinkhole in addition to the existing permit requirement to make sinkhole repairs.

"I think it's a win-win for us,'' Dukes said.

A fee for the permit has not been established, but Ron Pianta, director of land services, said he didn't anticipate it producing significant revenue.

Rather, it would let the county track a sinkhole report from the time an investigator visits a home through the recording with the Clerk of the Circuit Court's Office that repairs have been done.

It also means that the investigation becomes a public record, including the signed and sealed findings of the engineer of record or geologist, documents that have not previously been public, Pianta said.

That will help homeowners move forward with home repairs because, in some cases, property owners have had a difficult time gaining possession of those documents.

One of the primary reasons the county has wanted to better track sinkholes is because they have a significant impact on property value. As soon as a sinkhole is reported and confirmed, the value of the property falls by 50 percent, and the property tax paid to the county falls along with it. Once a repair is made, the value rises back to about 90 percent of what it was, officials have said.

Without a tracking mechanism, word of completed repairs was sometimes lagging, costing the county property tax dollars. The Property Appraiser's Office has estimated that $173 million in value was lost from 2005 through 2010 because of sinkholes.

"I think it's a step in the right direction in terms of at least bringing resolve to the recording problem we've been having,'' said Commissioner Dave Russell.

Dukes stressed that the permit fee was not a new tax and that it would be paid by the investigator through a homeowner's insurance company.

But Rose Rocco, a former county commissioner, said that the new requirement would put too much of a burden on people. She also argued that the fee would add to the cost of insurance.

"Don't you think that they're going to pass that back on the consumer?'' Rocco said.

Commission Chairman Jim Adkins, concerned about the lack of cost information, cast the lone vote against the ordinance.

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

Hernando commission okays new permit to help track sinkhole reports 05/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 8:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues

    Crime

    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  2. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. Hudson man, 19, killed by hit-and-run driver while walking in street, FHP says

    Accidents

    A 19-year-old Hudson man walking in the street Friday night was struck and killed by a pickup truck that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Road Ranger hurt after truck catches fire in crash at I-275, Busch

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A Road Ranger was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran into the back of his truck on Interstate 275 and both vehicles burst into flame, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Brian Nelson Barrett, 42, of Wimauma, was headed north on I-275 in his Road Ranger truck Saturday morning 10/21/17 when a car hit him from behind, causing both vehicles to erupt in flames.
  5. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight

    Blogs