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RealtiCorp may have deal to tap sewers

By ELENA LESLEY
Published March 21, 2007


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CRYSTAL RIVER - The city and RealtiCorp have reached a tentative agreement regarding a sewer extension to the company's property south of the city limits.

The proposed agreement will go before the City Council for approval at Monday's meeting.

"It's a much better deal financially for the city," City Attorney Anthony Perrone said. "Instead of borrowing money, we're getting money up front.

Representatives from both sides decided to terminate the old agreement because lawsuits filed by the state Department of Environmental Protection had temporarily halted construction, and because the city staff raised concerns about the method of payment.

"The city was shelling out its own money to build a sewer line to their RealtiCorp's property," Perrone said, referring to the letter of credit intended to finance the project. "It was a bad business deal."

Under the new agreement, RealtiCorp will design and pay for its own sewer line. Plus, the company will give the city money up front.

RealtiCorp will have a check for more than $600,000 ready at Monday's meeting, if the council approves the extension, Perrone said. The funds are meant to reserve 300 ERUs (equivalent residential units) of currently available sewer capacity.

Though RealtiCorp will pay for the extension itself, a percentage of the cost will be used as credit for purchasing additional ERUs.

The company has requested an additional 400 ERUs, which won't be available until the city completes a larger water treatment plant.

The property in question is east of U.S. 19 and south of Venable Street. In the past, development plans have included a mix of residential and commercial; it's unclear whether any definite plans are currently in place.

Perrone said the new agreement is a good deal for the city.

Its most appealing feature: "The city does not expend a single dime," he said.

Elena Lesley can be reached at elesley@sptimes.com or 564-3627.

[Last modified March 20, 2007, 21:13:32]


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