Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County Commission won't extend deadline on agreement with Spring Hill Fire District

BROOKSVILLE — Spring Hill Fire Rescue officials on Tuesday tried one more time to get Hernando County to help unravel the knot the district is in over how it will levy taxes to pay for its operations.

And once again, the County Commission told them they're on their own.

Despite impassioned arguments from members of the fire board that not extending an agreement that will expire Sept. 30 will leave Spring Hill taxpayers on the hook for a special election next month that will cost about $150,000, not a single county commissioner would bite.

"I think the answer is clear as a bell," Commissioner David Russell said. "We've been here before."

As has been the case in the past few weeks, the question of extending the agreement fell to legal opinions from attorneys for the district, the county and the county clerk's office.

"It's not a question of not wanting to," county attorney Garth Coller said. "There is simply no legal way for us to do it."

The appeal to the County Commission came one day after Circuit Judge William T. Swigert denied Spring Hill Fire's emergency motion to maintain the status quo. He said he agreed with arguments that voters already decided last August that they did not want the district to have taxing authority.

Voters previously had voted to give the district its independence from the county.

The failed 2010 referendum has left the district with limited options on how it will collect revenue to continue it operations after Sept. 30.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins suggested that the best way for the district to continue would be to consolidate its operations with county.

Assistant county attorney Jon Jouben said, however, that since the district was created by a special act, only the state Legislature could dismantle it.

At its regular meeting at 9 a.m. today, the fire board will decide whether it wants to proceed with the special election. With time running out, commissioners must commit soon to a $47,000 down payment to the company that is contracted to print the ballots, which must be mailed out by May 25.

The ballots must be returned by June 14 in order to get the assessment on this year's property tax bills, if voters approve giving the district taxing authority.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

Hernando County Commission won't extend deadline on agreement with Spring Hill Fire District 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. Hillary Clinton said her 'skin crawled' when Donald Trump stood behind her on debate stage

    National

    In her most detailed public comments about what happened during the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said her "skin crawled" as Donald Trump loomed behind her on the stage in St. Louis last October.

    Hillary Clinton speaks as Donald Trump listens during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9, 2016. In her upcoming book, Clinton says "It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled." [Pool photo by Rick T. Wilking via AP]
  2. After 17 years, Pasco-Hernando State College attorney steps away

    College

    The longtime attorney for Pasco-Hernando State College has resigned for what he says are "purely personal reasons."

    Steve Schroeder, the general council for Pasco-Hernando State College, resigned last week. His last day will be Sept. 8.
  3. Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car

    Autos

    SAN FRANCISCO — As new employees were brought into Apple's secret effort to create a self-driving car a few years ago, managers told them that they were working on the company's next big thing: A product that would take on Detroit and disrupt the automobile industry.

     In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, Luminar CEO Austin Russell monitors a 3D lidar map on a demonstration drive in San Francisco. Russell, now 22, was barely old enough to drive when he set out to create a safer navigation system for robot-controlled cars. His ambitions are about to be tested five years after he co-founded Luminar Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup trying to steer the rapidly expanding self-driving car industry in a new direction. Apple says it will scale back its amitions to build a self-driving car.  [AP Photo/Ben Margot]
  4. Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

    Autos

    WASHINGTON — Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday.

    A side mirror warning signal is shown in a Ford Taurus at an automobile testing area in Oxon Hill, Md., in 2012. Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. Pet Vet: Why a cat's color can make it more susceptible to skin cancer

    Pets

    Snowball is a fluffy female cat 10 years of age. Can you guess what color she might be? I ask the question because it is relevant to what might be causing her problem.

    White fluffy cat  [Dreamstime | TNS]