Let work begin on dredging project
BCPeabody Construction Services Inc. is a company that I started after retiring from more than 25 years of service to my country as an officer in the U.S. Army.
BCPeabody is a local company. We have been the winning bidder on this project twice and stand ready to start work now, ready to hire local businesses and individuals, rent local equipment, and purchase local goods and services to make this project happen.
I have read the stories in the St. Petersburg Times about my company's bids on the Hernando Beach dredge project, stories for which my company has never been contacted for comment.
My company competed for the Hernando Beach dredge project in October. It was a competitive bid process in which any firm could have participated. Three firms submitted bids including mine. BCPeabody was unanimously recommended by both the county staff and the consulting engineers. Our bid price, means and methods became public record.
The County Commission, as was within its right, opted to put the project back out for an announced national competition. Even though our bid price was known to all, we bid again. This time we were not only the lowest bidder, we were the only bidder. Our bid price, if compared apples-to-apples with our previous bid, is virtually the same.
I have assembled a team of knowledgeable scientists and aggressive subcontractors who know the job, know the risks, and yet who are willing to step up and take on this extremely challenging project. The performance of the dewatering and treatment site in meeting state water quality standards will drive the dredging operation. I built my plan and my team with this in mind.
If the county decides to dredge the channel, my team stands ready to be part of the solution. We would expect to work with the county in engaging the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to further improve the current permit, providing expertise in permitting and its impact to project execution. However, we must be realistic in what the DEP can and cannot change. The water quality standard that we must meet is state law.
We stand ready to start now, putting local businesses and individuals to work, purchasing local goods and services, and completing this long-awaited project.
CEO and owner,
Click here to endorse what's important, Jan. 7 Dan DeWitt column
Idea to set aside land is ridiculous
Dan DeWitt states we will be asked whether we'd like to see natural land set aside by purchasing development rights. This is something that I think is absolutely ridiculous. Municipalities have no need to purchase and therefore take agricultural land off the tax rolls. Especially, if after the purchase, the actual public still doesn't have access to the land as in the case with Southwest Florida Water Management District when owners maintain a life estate.
The current owners are barely paying any taxes at all as it is, but collecting something is better than nothing. And when lands are newly platted they should immediately lose their agricultural status and be assessed accordingly.
What truly needs to be done is to write the comprehensive plan to maintain these spaces as agricultural and leave it that way. There's already a bloated abundance of platted land in Hernando County. And if that platted land was assessed on a per-lot basis there would be an abundance of tax dollars to collect, too.
The true question is, just why isn't this being done? Why can developers get their land platted so that it can be put up for sale at an extremely high profit but the county won't tax it on that basis today?
J. Daniel, Spring Hill