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Tarpon to buy land for water plant

Published March 1, 2007


TARPON SPRINGS - City Commissioners have voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a 10-acre tract of land for a drinking water treatment plant.

The city will pay $2.25-million to Thomas E. Overstreet of Clearwater for vacant land located southeast of the intersection of L&R Industrial Boulevard and Brady Road. The deal, approved last week, will be financed by the $45-million bond referenda approved by 70 percent of voters last year for the drinking water supply project.

The water plant concept has been in the works for more than four years by city staff, which say a system would end residents' reliance on external water providers.

For many years, the bulk of the nearly 3.5-million gallons of drinking water piped into city homes each day has originated from Pinellas County and Tampa Bay Water systems. The recent surge of growth across the region has made external suppliers more expensive and less reliable, City Manager Ellen Posivach said.

City officials said the treatment plant will draw a supply of brackish groundwater, which will be filtered by a reverse-osmosis process to remove salt and minerals.

Charles Attardo, Tarpon Springs business specialist, told commissioners last week that the city had been considering several tracts north of the Anclote River for the plant and wells, and negotiated with a number of landowners.

Attardo said the property near L&R Industrial Boulevard and Brady Road offered the best features to meet the technical requirements and the lowest price per acre. Records from the Pinellas County property appraiser estimate the current value of the land is $539,500 and show that Overstreet paid $350,000 for it in 1991. The parcel is vacant and includes a 1-acre pond. City staff expects that the new water system will be complete by late 2009 or early 2010. The plant is expected to produce an average of 5-million gallons a day, with occasional peaks of 6.5-million gallons a day, enough to sell back to the Tampa Bay regional water suppliers.

[Last modified March 1, 2007, 00:14:44]

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