Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Southern Hill's Phase III landowners try to stop reclaimed water upgrade

BROOKSVILLE — Money from a settled lawsuit should allow the city to build a wastewater treatment system that could pump as much as 750,000 gallons of reclaimed water daily for landscape irrigation at Southern Hills Plantation Club.

Brooksville public works director Richard Radacky said work to upgrade the city's treatment facility on Cobb Road is set to begin in early September.

But the long-stalled project faces a new, potentially major roadblock.

On Aug. 18, James and Paula Holliday and Gary and Cynthia Sutton filed a motion for a temporary injunction against the city demanding that it freeze funds for the project until the city completes infrastructure and road paving in Southern Hill's Phase III, where their undeveloped properties are located.

Jennifer Rey, an attorney with the Hogan Law Firm, which represents the city of Brooksville, said the city has 20 days from the filing date to respond to the complaint.

The reclaimed water project was part of the deal between the city and Southern Hills developer LandMar Group LLC. According to a 2003 agreement, the cost of upgrading the treatment facility would be shared by the developer and the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which provided a $1.1 million matching grant for the project.

But LandMar's bankruptcy filing in 2008 changed all of that. The city was forced to foreclose on more than $20 million in performance bonds from three surety companies to complete the reclamation plant and other infrastructure. In June, the city settled the case for $3.5 million. Twenty-five percent of that — or $875,000 — went to the Hogan Law Firm, which represented the city in the case.

Last year, the City Council approved a resolution stating that any recovered money would go toward the unfinished infrastructure at Southern Hills. The resolution, however, did not stipulate what parts of the project would be completed first.

Brooksville City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha defended the decision to complete the reclaimed water facility as quickly as possible, saying further delays could prevent the city from meeting a February 2012 deadline set by Swiftmud to use the grant money.

Norman-Vacha said city staff has been working with Greenpointe Communities, the company that acquired the subdivision last year for $3.3 million, in sorting out and coordinating completion of infrastructure.

"You have to remember that no work was done there for four years," she said. "The city never expected they would be acting as developers."

Radacky estimates that upgrading the Cobb Road treatment plant should take about eight months. The city has contracted with Orlando-based Encore Construction Co. to install a 1 million gallon storage tank, chlorine chambers and filtration systems.

Because the subdivision was built with all the necessary irrigation pipes and holding ponds in place, little additional work will be needed to bring the system on line.

Once finished, Brooksville should be able to provide the subdivision with enough water to irrigate the golf course and common areas as well as residences. The plant is designed so capacity can be expanded to provide reclaimed water to other nearby developments.

Council member Lara Bradburn said that having a reclaimed water system is a valuable asset to the city that will have immediate and long-term benefits in that it will drastically reduce the amount of water pumped each day from aquifer.

"We'll be saving a valuable resource in our community," she said. "I can't imagine anyone thinking that's not a good thing."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or

Southern Hill's Phase III landowners try to stop reclaimed water upgrade 08/30/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.