Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Skeptical East Hernando residents pepper officials with questions about water treatment plans

BROOKSVILLE — A standing-room-only crowd of Ridge Manor West residents grilled Hernando County Utilities officials Wednesday, questioning why the county plans a new water treatment plant, storage tanks and a well field adjacent to their residential community.

Not only is the location a bad to idea, they said, but they also questioned what type of analysis was involved in picking the 17.6-acre site, north of Cortez Boulevard running along the west side of Sherman Hills Boulevard.

They wondered whether they would need to buy flood insurance or if their wells would fail when the county goes from the 600,000 gallons of water pumped daily now from a nearby well to an anticipated 4.8 million gallons.

They voiced concerns about sinkholes forming, property values plummeting, chemicals polluting their neighborhood and the water being sold to another community. Some speculated that a large, secret development is being planned nearby.

Some of the residents demanded to see hydrogeological reports that would prove sinkholes won't form and wells won't fail, and an analysis showing that their property values won't fall. While Angel Roussel, the county Utilities Department's engineering division manager, couldn't make those promises, he did promise that, by the end of the week, existing reports will be posted on the county's website.

Roussel also repeatedly told residents the site was chosen because it provides the most efficient way of providing regional water treatment. He explained that to rezone the land, Utilities officials had to lay out a site plan for a future they can't yet predict.

In November, the County Commission agreed to pay $470,000 to purchase the land from Lee Pallardy Inc. Profit Sharing and 401K Plan, contingent upon a rezoning approval. The current zoning for the property would allow construction of 244 duplex and multi-family residential units.

Future plans for the site include two water storage tanks that together could hold as much as 4 million gallons, plus as many as nine wells.

Tentative public hearing dates on the rezoning are Feb. 10 before the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission and March 11 before the County Commission.

Residents have already collected more than 300 signatures on a petition opposing the rezoning.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 5 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions.They also said that as a result of his actions, he will not at...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 6 hours ago