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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Rowden wants answers on airport procedures

Hernando Today


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BROOKSVILLE - The recent controversy regarding the way the Hernando County Aviation Authority handled the process of vetting a company to lease a vacant facility on airport property has prompted County Commissioner Diane Rowden to carve out space on Tuesday's agenda.

Rowden, the commission's liaison for the Aviation Authority, wants a full board discussion on protocol.

"It has come to my attention there is confusion among the public, the staff, the BOCC and advisors regarding policies and procedures governing the operation of the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport," Rowden wrote in a memo to County Administrator Len Sossamon.

But if County Commissioner Jim Adkins has his way, Rowden won't have the opportunity to bring it up at the meeting.

"I just don't think it's the time," Adkins said. "It isn't appropriate right now."

Matters seem to be progressing with a proposed lease with Clearwater-based Creative Jet Solutions to lease the vacant Brooksville Air Center on airport property and Adkins said he doesn't want anything to hinder that process.

Hernando County Aviation Authority Chairman Gary Schraut said if Rowden's intention is strictly to glean information, that's a good thing.

"This will be a good education process for her," Schraut said. "We (aviation authority members) understand it but because of her lack of knowledge on the subject, there may also be citizens who are confused.

"(Rowden) is an anti-business commissioner who has turned over a new leaf, so policies and procedures are important to her," Schraut added.

Schraut said the authority is an advisory group that makes recommendations to the county commission. It's functioned well for 30 years, and there's seems to have been a concerted effort by somebody in the past several weeks to corrupt the process, he said.

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson said he wants it discussed to clear the air.

"I think we all need to be on the same page as to how things need to be conducted," he said.

The county commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main St. in downtown Brooksville

Also at Tuesday's meeting:

County commissioners will honor airport manager Don Silvernell, who is retiring effective July 1.

Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson is asking county commissioners to approve a resolution requiring all local candidates for office to submit their documents electronically, as provided in Florida Statutes.

Even though the county currently asks candidates and political parties to file online, it would be unenforceable if contested because the authorizing resolution has never been adopted, Anderson said.

The Brooksville City Council on May 6 consented to the inclusion of the incorporated area of Brooksville within the Hernando County Mosquito Control Municipal Service Taxing Unit.

City ordinance requires the adoption of an interlocal agreement that outlines the delivery of mosquito control services within the jurisdiction and commissioners will discuss that pact which was created through the combined efforts of the City of Brooksville and Hernando County staffs.

County commissioners will consider a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which sent out letters to property owners informing them that no unexploded munitions were found in a search underground at their property.

The agency sent letters to all affected residents whose property was within the boundaries of the old 10,200-acre Brooksville Turret Gunnery Range used by the Department of Defense for training and storage and disposal of munitions during World War II.

Duke Energy Florida is advising commissioners of a proposed transmission enhancement project to rebuild an existing transmission line between the Brooksville West Substation at 13424 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville and the Weeki Wachee Substation at 11010 Cortez Blvd.

Surveying along the line is scheduled to begin in June. Construction on the line should begin at the end of 2013 with an estimated completion date in summer 2014.

To view the entire agenda, visit http://hernando /citizens/

(352) 544-5290

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