Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Well trouble continues for Dade City commissioner

David Hernandez sits with his wife, Dade City Commissioner Camille Hernandez, after the two appeared before Judge William Sestak to dispute their citation for having an illegal well. They’re due back in court June 4.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

David Hernandez sits with his wife, Dade City Commissioner Camille Hernandez, after the two appeared before Judge William Sestak to dispute their citation for having an illegal well. They’re due back in court June 4.

DADE CITY — Two prominent couples came to court Friday after receiving citations for having illegal wells on their property.

The Avilas left with the charges dropped.

The Hernandezes pleaded not guilty and left with another court date.

Robert Avila, a former city commission candidate, and his wife, Lucy, had their citation dismissed after providing documentation that their well predated the city's 1982 ban.

According to City Clerk Jim Class, Robert Avila searched city records and found minutes from a decades-old commission meeting showing the previous property owner received permission to replace the well. City officials now consider the Avilas' well to be "grandfathered in," Class said.

City Commissioner Camille Hernandez and her husband, David, have also argued their well predates the ban. So far, they have not provided the documentation to convince city officials.

The well controversy bubbled up last fall, after Camille Hernandez and other commissioners suggested lifting the ban on private wells, which the city had outlawed to protect its water supply and utility revenue.

A few days later, documentation from 2007 surfaced at City Hall indicating the Hernandezes had a private well on their Bougainvillea Avenue property.

The commission later voted to uphold the ban, and city officials began researching the private wells in town to determine which ones might be in violation. The city sent letters to about a dozen possible violators. By the end of January, all of them provided proof that they either didn't have a well, or that theirs predated the ban.

Except the Avilas and Hernandezes.

After presenting their documentation, the Avilas left court Friday in the clear. The Hernandezes were told to report back June 4 for another hearing. If found in violation, they could face a fine of up to $500 plus administrative fees.

Camille and David Hernandez declined to comment.

Well trouble continues for Dade City commissioner 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 9:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winning high school essays urge balance in U.S. foreign, domestic spending

    K12

    Three winners were selected by a panel of judges from among 250 entrants to receive a $1,200 scholarship in the R.F. "Red" Pittman Tampa Tribune Scholars essay contest.

  2. Tampa Tribune scholarships inspire students to keep digging for facts

    College

    TAMPA

    When the Tampa Tribune launched a scholarship for Hillsborough County's top high school seniors more than 50 years ago, no one could have guessed it would one day be turned over to the newspaper's rival, now called the Tampa Bay Times.

  3. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.

  4. Photos of the week: 20 great images from around the globe

    World

    This week's collection of the most interesting photos from around the world features a silhouetted surfer in France, images of joy and grief from England, a massive landslide in California, a life rescued and a life lost at sea, an image from the final performance of "the greatest show on Earth" and, just for kicks, a …

    BIARRITZ, FRANCE - MAY 24:  Guillermo Satt of Chile in action whilst competing in the Men's Qualifying Round 2 during day five of the ISA World Surfing Games 2017 at Grande Plage  on May 24, 2017 in Biarritz, France.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
  5. What to watch this weekend: Grateful Dead documentary, 'House of Cards' returns Tuesday

    Blogs

    The Grateful Dead: Long Strange Trip

    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in Season 5 of House of Cards on Netflix.