ARIPEKA — The Army Corps of Engineers will reconsider Pasco’s permit application for a channel dredge at its SunWest Park, but the case is being remanded to the same office that has repeatedly denied it.
The 60-foot-wide channel was designed so the county could build seven boat ramps at the park, and to serve as a major draw for a proposed private development, SunWest Harbourtowne. The Corps’ Jacksonville office denied the permit in 2012
Pasco commissioners appealed the ruling to the Corps’ South Atlanta Division Office in Atlanta, and commanding Col. Donald Walker notified the county that the appeal has enough merit to warrant reconsideration.
“The fact that I found merit with the appeal does not necessarily mean the Jacksonville District’s decision was incorrect,” he wrote in a letter to Commission Chairman Jack Mariano.
Walker said the county did not prove that the Jacksonville staff was biased, but he found the administrative record does not sufficiently support the district’s decision and requires further review and clarification.
Mariano said he’s optimistic that Pasco will eventually get the permit. “I would like to have had the Atlanta office make the decision that it was a valid permit that should have been issued,” he said.