Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Residents invited to learn about latest effort to improve south Brooksville drainage

BROOKSVILLE — The need for drainage relief in portions of south Brooksville can be demonstrated in the old pictures of floods past, pictures of roads running like rivers and residents standing in homes with water up to their knees.

For several years, the county, the city and the Southwest Florida Water Management District have been paying for drainage projects in various parts of the community, following a detailed drainage improvement plan.

With recent approval of the Hernando County Commission, construction on the final phase of that group of projects is expected to begin this fall in an area off Josephine Street, south of Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard. When the work is finished, the drainage system is expected to have removed 64 parcels of land from the floodplain, including homes both in the city and in the county.

To inform the community about what will happen and gather comments, the county's Public Works Department is sponsoring a public meeting at 3 p.m. April 27 at the Hernando County Sheriff's South Brooksville Community Center on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard.

In separate appearances before both the County Commission and the Brooksville City Council, county storm water engineer Clay Black gave a recap of recent south Brooksville drainage improvements and an update on the newest project.

Black sought and got commission approval for the Josephine Street drainage project. The county dedicated $175,000 from funds gathered through the property tax dedicated to storm-water projects, and Swiftmud matched with $175,000.

The plan is to replace a current drainage ditch off Josephine, on private property, with a new ditch on county property that will drain into a low area that will be bermed and where water will be stored. During storms, the low area will drain downhill into another section of the storm-water drainage system, a ditch that runs along Emerson Road and beneath the State Road 50 truck bypass that was cleared of debris and finished in February.

Sediment, trash and brush about 3 feet deep along that ditch had to be removed, and Swiftmud granted permission with the caveat that the county would bring the ditch back to where it had been before. Black noted to commissioners that the area hadn't been cleaned since 1970, impeding water flow.

Also in February, the county completed what is known as the Russell Street Park drainage project near the city's Department of Public Works and the old train depot. That site was designed to store approximately 15 feet of water.

"We have a fully functional system there right now,'' Black told commissioners.

Another project that was part of the plan was a drainage pond completed in 2014 at the site of the South Brooksville Community Center, on what is known as the Dauson property. That pond provides nearly 3.5 acres for storing storm water.

The city has also been sharing in the cost of projects, including providing properties and staging areas. In his discussion before City Council, Black noted that the city residents' contributions for the storm water tax had amounted to about $207,000 over the five years. But the benefit of the projects, including a city drainage area at the end of School Street, tops $2 million when property value increases and special future development credits earned through water quality improvements are considered.

Commissioners questioned how much water the system should hold and whether low-lying homes will be flood free. Black said the storm-water plan was designed based on a 100-year flood, so homes should be dry in lesser storms.

The problem, commission Chairman Wayne Dukes noted, is that the neighborhood is downhill. Brian Malmberg, assistant county administrator who oversees public works, said the community was nearly 200 feet in elevation below where the commission meets at the top of the hill in the Hernando County Government Center.

"This has been a very expensive project and a long project,'' Dukes said. "But it's working in the right direction, and I'm very pleased with that.''

Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA — Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didn’t start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Updated: 2 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deputies: Hours after birth, newborn abandoned in north Tampa

Deputies: Hours after birth, newborn abandoned in north Tampa

TAMPA — An abandoned a newborn baby was found in the University area on Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.A passerby found the baby boy wrapped in a red towel near the intersection of N 18th Street and E 143rd Avenue at ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Driver killed after colliding with dump truck in south Hillsborough

Driver killed after colliding with dump truck in south Hillsborough

WIMAUMA — A 30-year-old man died on Thursday after his sedan crashed head-on into a dump truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 6 p.m. on U.S. 301 near Lightfood Road.Gerardo Yslas of Immokalee was driving a 2012...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Thurs., May 24, midday:173952098e_SRit83991Thurs., May 24, evening:146065414e_SRit29962Mega MillionsToda...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student who was critically injured last weekend during an accidental fall on campus shortly before she was to graduate died today, the school announced.Rebecca Ryan "Becca" Lavin-Burgher would have graduated with a ...
Updated: 5 hours ago