Members of the Brooksville City Council unanimously approved a memo of understanding (MOU) with the Tampa Bay History Center (TBHC) for the management of the Manor House and cemetery located at the Chinsegut Hill historical site. The Conference Center, dining hall, caretaker’s house, grounds and cabins will be maintained by the City of Brooksville. The vote took place during the Council’s regular meeting on Nov. 6.
Located about five miles northeast of the City, the 115-acre Chinsegut Hill property is owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)- Division of State Lands and is leased to Hernando County for a term of 50 years ending in May 2063. Under its agreement with Hernando County, the Tampa Bay Historical Center manages the Manor House, cemetery and museum.
In June, the City Council unanimously voted to approve an agreement to take over the management of the Chinsegut Hill Retreat and Conference Center property from Hernando County.
Under that agreement, the City would hire a property manager who would work under the Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department to carry out the general management of the property, including marketing, booking reservations, internet services, safety programs, inspections, and security measures. All revenue generated by the property would be put back into its management and maintenance.
According to City Attorney Becky Vose, this latest agreement with TBHC is intended to clearly delineate the responsibilities of each entity.
“This is an interaction agreement between Tampa Bay History Center and the City of Brooksville so that there isn’t any conflict between the two,” Vose told the panel. “This is just the coordination of the two entities who got different roles from the County.”
The Chinsegut Conference and Retreat Center has become a destination for educational sessions and business conferences. The Manor House and grounds have become a popular spot for wedding festivities.
Earlier this year, the City Council approved a rate schedule for facilities rental at Chinsegut Hill. Vose said a resolution concerning changes or discounts connected to those fees would be forthcoming.