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Brooksville City Council Moves Forward with Wastewater Management Plan

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The Brooksville City Council approved a wastewater management plan with Coastal Engineering, among several topics discussed at the May 20 council meeting. At this point, the plan calls for the completion of a local sewer interconnect, while there is a desire to raise funds to complete the $20 million expansion of the William S. Smith Water Reclamation Facility.

“If we go ahead and approve a 3-billion-gallon-a-day expansion now and just to say the interconnect does not go through, we’re putting ourselves in a situation where we’re already going to outgrow our expansion,” Richard Weeks, Brooksville public works director, told the council. “I’ll be back up here asking for another expansion at the plant.”

There does exist the possibility that the county will not let the plan go through, but Weeks said he was very confident there would be no issues. The entire process could take up to eight months.
“I’m going to work with Coastal to try to push it as fast as possible,” Weeks said.

Rather than a full moratorium, there will be a restriction of 20 percent development per year for those projects already permitted for the next three years as the building of the interconnect and the expansion takes place. How to handle new developments is something that still needs to be discussed.

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“I think that’s going to be our best bet,” Weeks said. “That will get us to the point where we know if the interconnect is going to go through or not, and then we’ll have a final answer on what we should do as far as an expansion for our current plant.”

Also, at the May 20 meeting, the council decided to implement suggestions made by two ordinances recommended by the Charter Review Committee, but neither ordinance will appear on any ballots.
Ordinance 975 called for adding language stating that all adopted ordinances include a finding by the City Council regarding whether or not the ordinance promotes business development in the city.
“I think this is great what the Charter Committee focused on from a business development standpoint. I think it’s needed in the city,” Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell said. “I think there’s a lot of county development and that’s great, but I think city-specific business development is important. I don’t know that we need to amend our charter to include language about business development when staff is already working on business development ordinances.”

Given the redundancy, the council opted against the costly decision of putting the ordinance on the ballot this coming election.

It was the same thought process for Ordinance 976, which would clarify the CRC committee’s role, specifically that it not only offers recommendations but also explains them. That could be addressed in the resolution when the committee is formed again in six years.

“Making changes to the charter are a big deal. It’s for very important items that come before the city like the make-up of the council, determining how the mayor is elected, things of that nature,” Bell said. “I don’t know that this rises to that level of importance but I do think it’s important for us to look as a council to give direction to the Charter Review Committee.”

One other item approved at the meeting, Brooksville-based Goodwin Brothers Construction was awarded the 2024 road repaving contract. The company’s bid was for $547,841.28 out of the $600,000 budget.

“They did exactly what we asked,” Weeks said. “We wanted them to go out to each street, do an evaluation and give us a breakdown cost. That way, we know they went to each individual street we requested, and they provided that information.” The eight roads that will be repaved are Lemon Ave, from Cook Ave to north of Walker Ave; Buena Vista Ave, from Sabra Dr. to MLK Blvd; Desoto Ave, from Veterans Ave to Ponce Deleon Blvd; June Ave, from Cortez Blvd to Sabra Dr; Daniel Ave, from Hale Ave to east of Lemon Ave; Crawford St, from Jefferson to Union St; Don Jr. Ave, from Cortez Blvd to Sabra Dr; and Hammock Rd, from North Ave to the Hernando County section.

Chris Bernhardt
Chris Bernhardt
A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper’s sports coverage. After an initial 3-year stint with Hernando Sun, he spent four years as a staff sports reporter at the Citrus County Chronicle. Follow on X @cpbernhardtjr.
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