Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Public works chief questioned about more problems with Hernando Beach dredging

BROOKSVILLE — Problems with the Hernando Beach dredging project have again landed Hernando County public works director Charles Mixson in hot water.

The county has received another warning letter from state environmental regulators concerning the ongoing dredging of the Hernando Beach channel, prompting County Administrator David Hamilton to raise questions about the county's management of the project.

In a memo Hamilton distributed to county commissioners Tuesday, Hamilton asks Mixson for a written response to a series of questions about why the project has fallen behind schedule and why there are problems with the turbidity of the dredged material and the sea grass mitigation plan.

In a letter sent to the county last week, the district director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection warned that failure to monitor and report ongoing problems with the turbidity, as required by the county's permit, could be violations of state law. Director Deborah Getzoff has asked the county to schedule a meeting to discuss the problems.

Previously, the DEP had issued a warning letter to the county concerning several other problems with the dredging, including misplacement of the rocks removed from the channel, failure to mark the water line and failure to install signs required by the permit.

Hamilton's memo to Mixson voices concerns about the dredging project being behind schedule. Also, the issue with too much suspended sediment in the dredged spoils is a problem because "the standards were established by the Department of Environmental Protection well in advance of the project," he wrote. "The contractor should have been aware of these standards and taken steps to comply with them from the onset of the work."

That problem will be solved without further expense to the county, Hamilton tells Mixson in his memo. He goes on to ask Mixson to respond formally about what he is doing to get the project back on schedule and what penalties will be imposed on the contractor for the problems created.

"You and your department should now be well aware of county administration's position on a resumption of anything that returns us to what we have verbally referred to as the 'infinity plan,' " Hamilton said, making reference to previous lengthy delays in getting the dredging project under way.

Hamilton also asks Mixson to answer why assistant county engineer Gregg Sutton, who has managed the dredge project, recently told the Hernando County Port Authority that meeting the DEP's sea grass mitigation requirements would require a $500,000 change order to the dredging contract.

Hamilton asks why the mitigation requirement wasn't already factored into the contract with the dredging contractor and consultant. Because the need for the sea grass mitigation has long been known, "why would the county board be expected to consider a change order in the amount of $500,000?" Hamilton asks Mixson in the memo.

He goes on to say that, if the original sea grass plan was unacceptable to the DEP, "who was responsible in your department for this failed plan and for not adjusting to comply in a timely manner prior to the award of any contracts?"

Hamilton asks Mixson to respond by today.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Public works chief questioned about more problems with Hernando Beach dredging 01/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]
  3. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. What you need to know for Friday, June 23


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Graffiti butts are everywhere in downtown St. Pete. What's going on? [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | Times]
  5. Owners to level Port Richey flea market but may rebuild

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — The owners of the recently shuttered USA Flea Market have agreed to demolish all structures on the property, leaving open the possibility of rebuilding the weekend shopping attraction, according to Pasco County officials.

    Pasco County officials shut down the USA Flea Market after it received hundreds of citations for health and code violations.