The City of Brooksville held its regularly scheduled city council meeting on June 19 and had several issues to discuss on its agenda, among them an announcement from Mayor Blake Bell that City Manager Ron Snowberger had recently turned in his resignation letter to the city for personal reasons.
“Even though we received a resignation letter, I see it more as a retirement,” stated Bell, who offered words of praise to the outgoing city manager. “We appreciate, Mr. Snowberger, all you have done for the city. You were the right man for the job when we needed you. We needed stability in the city, and you provided a tremendous amount of stability at that time and appreciate the stability you have provided since then. We will all miss working with you.”
Bell then explained the next steps for finding the next city manager, indicating that the city would meet on Monday, June 26, to discuss what options the city will take for hiring a new city manager.
Bell also indicated that on Monday, Aug. 14, there will be a budget meeting at 3 pm, where there will be a going-away reception held for Snowberger afterward.
Council members offered sincere words of wholehearted praise and thanked Snowberger for his service and guidance to the city. Snowberger admitted that it was a difficult decision for him to resign, adding, “I love the city, and I love the people in it, and I really thank the support of the council and the employees. I am going to miss being here.”
In other news, regarding historic preservation updates, Christine Dalton of Dalton Studio, a professional with over 25 years of historic preservation experience, addressed the council and presented information regarding the Downtown Brooksville Historic Resource Survey. Dalton specializes specifically in local government, revitalization, and heritage tourism.
Dalton applauded the efforts of the Division of Historical Resources, which has provided grant funding for the project. She also commended Brooksville Mainstreet, the City of Brooksville and Snowberger, Hernando County Property Appraiser, and the Hernando Historical Museum Association, which was invaluable in supporting the research, along with Kent Eppley of Gulf Coast Title.
One of the key facts that Dalton told council members was about tax credits to eligible property owners. “Property owners may pursue the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which provides up to a 20 percent credit in federal income taxes for allowable expenses of certified historic structures incurred in rehabilitation,” she indicated. “Property owners of income-producing buildings could have access to this tax credit if they have been determined to be eligible for National Register or listed there. Florida Main Street and Florida Historic Trust Preservation have been actively working with the (Florida) Legislature to try to get a state historic preservation tax credit passed. We are only one of thirteen states in the United States that does not have a state historic preservation tax credit. We are hoping that by next year, we will be able to get that passed.”
Dalton added that it would be a great benefit to the city and property owners and recommended that there be an ad valorem tax exemption for property owners for improvements to historic properties. Dalton also recommended that the city council appoint members to the already established Historic Preservation Review Board.
Mayor Bell asked Dalton to clarify what would qualify as income-producing property that could receive a tax credit, with Dalton replying that downtown commercial buildings would be eligible, and two-unit rental properties, but not for personal homes.
Finally, Mayor Bell provided an update on the city projects’ being approved by the state, adding, “All of the projects for the City of Brooksville were funded this year by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. We had one item vetoed, and that was our wastewater plan, as we had already received money from the state. All of the items that we needed from the city were approved.”
The City of Brooksville will next hold a special council meeting on Monday, June 26, at the Joseph E. Johnston III Council Chambers at 3 pm.