Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commission orders removal of Brooksville red-light cameras at two intersections

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission has long grumbled about Brooksville's red-light cameras.

On Tuesday, commissioners took action.

At the urging of Commissioner Jim Adkins, the board voted unanimously to do whatever is necessary to take down the red-light cameras at the two intersections in the city that the county controls — Wiscon Road at Broad Street and Cobb Road at Jefferson Street.

In addition, commissioners directed county staffers to inform city leaders that they are reluctant to renew an interlocal agreement whereby the county maintains all of the city's traffic signals.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell said the point of the message was to "express our displeasure'' with the cameras, which have been controversial from the start.

The Brooksville City Council was slated to talk about red-light cameras and the revenue they produce during a workshop Tuesday evening.

Brooksville Mayor Lara Bradburn said Tuesday afternoon that she had not heard about the county's action.

"Wow,'' Bradburn said. "Since this proposal involves potential legal action, I probably shouldn't say anything until I speak to the attorneys.''

Currently, there are 13 cameras at five intersections in the city. They are at Broad Street and Wiscon Road, Cobb Road and Jefferson Street, Jefferson and Broad, Cortez and Broad and at Broad and Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard.

During a discussion Tuesday about the county's interlocal agreement with Brooksville and Weeki Wachee regarding traffic-light maintenance, Adkins asked several questions of Brian Malmberg, the assistant county administrator for operations.

Malmberg confirmed that the Wiscon at Broad and Cobb at Jefferson intersections are maintained by the county.

Adkins asked whether county permission should have been sought before those cameras were installed, and County Attorney Garth Coller said he was unaware of any agreements the county had reached with the city to allow the cameras.

"I would like to get rid of all the red-light cameras,'' said Commissioner Nick Nicholson.

The commission agreed to have County Administrator Len Sossamon work with Coller to accomplish the removal of the cameras from the two intersections, and Adkins noted: "And have it done by tomorrow.''

Malmberg explained that the county receives about $22,000 a year from the state Department of Transportation through the city for maintenance of the traffic lights inside the city limits.

Adkins said that the City Council will have to discuss whether it wants to form its own traffic signal maintenance department or continue to allow the county to do the work after hearing the commission's concerns about the intersections with cameras.

"I'm on board,'' Russell said.

"I'm on board,'' said Commissioner Diane Rowden. "We're all on board here.''

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

In other business

The Hernando County Commission on Tuesday:

• Approved a settlement agreement with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority concerning the change in the name of the Hernando airport. Hernando officials have agreed to change the name from Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport to Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport and to several other provisions. The Hillsborough authority had sued after the initial name change, claiming trademark infringement over "Tampa" and "Airport." Hillsborough officials are expected to consider the settlement on Friday.

• Agreed to give Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson $47,725 out of county reserves to enable her to balance her office's budget. Anderson's predecessor, Annie Williams, overspent the budget by $136,890, and Anderson has used some grant funding and made some spending cuts to make up most of that. Williams said in a letter to the commission that the long ballot and the large number of early and absentee voters drove up her costs. Anderson also noted that Williams had failed to budget for $34,130 in compensatory, vacation and sick time due as employees left their jobs.

• Delayed until March 12 a final public hearing on an ordinance to allow chickens in certain residential areas. Carol Aquilante, the Spring Hill resident who has pushed for the ordinance, again urged the commission on Tuesday to support it. Some local builders and Realtors voiced concerns about the impact on property values.

• Approved an increase in the communications tax, which is charged consumers on their phone bills. The increase is estimated to cost 40 cents for a $100 phone bill, and the proceeds will be used for a new radio system for law enforcement, fire and other county departments.

• Approved a change in hours for county Animal Services, which will now be open on Saturdays to better serve working people. The new hours will be from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday. The shelter will be closed Sunday and Monday. An open house is planned at the shelter for March 9.

Hernando commission orders removal of Brooksville red-light cameras at two intersections 02/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters

    Business

    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]
  2. Police may have found the body of a Texas toddler whose dad said he banished her to an alley

    Nation

    Police in Texas say they have "most likely" found the body of Sherin Mathews, the missing 3-year-old girl whose father claims he sent her alone into an alley when she wouldn't drink her milk.

    This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. Police in a Dallas suburb say they've found the body of a small child, not far from the home of Sherin Mathews, who's been missing since early this month. (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?

    Bucs

    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Jim McElwain: Florida Gators have received death threats after 3-3 start

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE - The Florida Gators' 3-3 start is causing some fans to become irrational - even by college football standards.

    UF coach Jim McElwain said there have been death threats made against people related to his program.
  5. Megyn Kelly hits back at O'Reilly's claim no one complained

    Blogs

    Bill O'Reilly, forced out at Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, has said no one ever filed a complaint about his behavior with human resources or the legal department in the 20 years he was at the network.

    Bill O'Reilly at the Newseum in Washington D.C., on October 6, 2016.