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PLANS FOR MAUSOLEUM DRAW CONCERNS ABOUT BLOCKING VIEW

TARPON SPRINGS - Commissioners must decide whether to grant a proposal that could dramatically alter the view of one of the city's waterfronts.

But the tranquil patch of land doesn't abut the Anclote River or the Gulf of Mexico. It's a small strip next to Lake Cycadia, where Realtors deal in eternal resting places.

In 2004, the city entered into an agreement with the Planes family to build three private, family mausoleums on waterfront plots in Cycadia Cemetery. But members of the family recently requested permission to modify the structures planned for the three 16- by 16-foot parcels.

Instead of constructing three separate mausoleums, they now want to "place one structure over the three contiguous plots," William Planes, Regina Margulies Planes and William Planes II wrote to the city in December.

City staff recommended that commissioners deny the request because the change would "impact the enjoyment of the cemetery by everyone," said Paul Smith, assistant public services director.

Of primary concern: a single mausoleum in that location "significantly blocks lake view for existing graves and visitors," city staff wrote in a presentation the commission was scheduled to see Tuesday night.

Elena Lesley, Times staff writer

CLEARWATER

Driver guilty in fatal DUI case is facing 10 years

Two sets of families and friends sat on opposite sides of the courtroom Friday.

On one was the family of Andrew Garcia, a 21-year-old Palm Harbor college student killed in a drunk driving wreck two years ago.

On the other was the family of the driver, Joseph Edward Eagan, charged with DUI manslaughter.

Eagan, 22, of Palm Harbor came to court with his attorney to ask for a less severe sentence than the 10-plus years in prison called for by sentencing guidelines.

He pleaded guilty. During an emotional hearing that stretched into the night, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley told Eagan she plans to give him the guideline sentence - about 10 years and four months.

Eagan was at the wheel of a 2001 Acura Integra when the fatal wreck took place the night of June 1, 2006. Eagan was heading south on Mill Pond Road at the Innisbrook Resort about 1:50 a.m. when he lost control of the car. The Acura hit a tree, killing Garcia.

Eagan's blood-alcohol content that night was 0.14 percent - nearly twice the level at which Florida law presumes a driver to be impaired.

Jose Cardenas, Times staff writer

Countywide

Popular low-flow toilet rebate program is back

Back by popular demand, Pinellas County's ultra low-flow toilet program is returning for another two years.

This water conservation program provides up to $100 in rebates for each old-fashioned toilet, which uses more than 3.5 gallons per flush, replaced by an ultra low-flow toilet, which uses 1.6 gallons per flush.

Sixteen thousand rebates will be available to customers who receive water from Pinellas County Utilities or the cities of Clearwater, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor or Tarpon Springs.

To apply, call (727) 725-2604 or e-mail PinellasULFTRebates@Hotmail.com. Upon verification of your water account information, you will receive an application and policy and procedures in the mail.

Times staff

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