June 6 article
Listen to residents on nature center
It sounds like county commissioners have already decided the proposed nature and tourism center is a done deal.
When was the public informed or participated in preliminary discussions for such a project?
Hernando County commissioners made a quick and dirty last minute vote to approve a county matching contribution of $3 million to match a $3 million grant in the new state budget for this election year.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District required the county to hold two public meetings to ask for public feedback. The water district indicated initial interest in the concept, but in no way has it given approval. The district's primary mission is to protect our land and water preserves, not to promote business interests.
We have seen no specific names of conservation groups in support of using the Weekiwachee Preserve. Plus, the letter-writing campaign by citizens in support of the project and its location, was led by those in Hernando Beach who initially opposed the project when they thought it was gong to be in the middle of the local marina. Their support letters smack of being bought off by the county's transfer of the project to the preserve.
It is questionable for Hernando County to claim that it is a legitimate award candidate, entitled to remuneration from the BP oil spill claims program, because it presumably is claiming the county's tourism business has been adversely affected by the 2010 oil spill.
Let the citizens decide on this matter, not the private monied interests, who seem to have an inordinate say over county commissioners and public water-protection organizations.
Brian P. Moore, Spring Hill