BROOKSVILLE — Residents of a rural neighborhood west of Sunshine Grove Road argued Tuesday that plans for a sewage treatment facility in their community would threaten their health and that of their families and would hurt their property values.
The County Commission agreed and denied an application by Anthony Crescenzo to place a lime stabilization facility on his 12-acre tract on the south side of Sweet Gum Road.
The facility would have included two 10,000-gallon underground tanks where sewage sludge would be mixed with lime to prepare it to be sprayed on the site. Crescenzo planned to use the treated wastewater as fertilizer to grow hay.
Crescenzo's representative Ty Mullis explained that Crescenzo already has permission to spray treated wastewater on his site and he was simply seeking the lime stabilization facility to make the operation more efficient.
In addition, Crescenzo had agreed to limit the number of trucks coming and going from the site to five a day and had agreed to quarterly water monitoring.
That didn't ease the concerns of residents who worried about how the trucks would damage their limerock roads, how the operation and the trucks would stink and how spraying the treated waste could put disease-causing germs into the air and into the ground water.
"Everybody knows that crap stinks,'' said Stephen Ryalls-Clephane. He described how the whole process will smell bad from the truck driving down the street to the treatment with lime, which would mean converting "nasty crap smell to rotten fish and ammonia smell.''
Neighbor Cassie Stump said allowing the facility would be unfair to the neighborhood. "We were here first,'' she said.
Another land owner wrote to the commission saying he was going to abandon his plan to build a house on his lot, a home he already had a contract to build, if the facility were approved.
Commissioner John Druzbick said he had serious concerns about the proposal because, while the neighborhood is zoned agriculture, it actually is more residential in nature. Schools are also nearby and there are plans for a housing subdivision, he noted.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.