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County to move ahead with plan for new judicial center
Commissioners agree to prepare a request for proposals by June 1.
By Times Staff Writer
Published January 16, 2008
BROOKSVILLE - The County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to prepare a request for proposals to design and finance a new judicial center for Hernando County. The commission set June 1 for its deadline to get the request out to the community.
Interim County Administrator Larry Jennings said the county and judicial staffs have been discussing ways to find more room for the expanding judicial services. Staffers determined that short-term fixes would cost the county $12.5-million. Jennings said that would not be a good use of the money and recommended that the county move forward with exploring creative financing, possibly involving a public-private partnership, which would allow the construction of a new judicial building.
The county has a consultant chosen to assist with the design of new judicial space. Chief Circuit Judge Daniel Merritt Sr. urged the county to act, saying, "All we've done since 2001 is discuss, discuss, discuss."
In other business:
- Commissioners added $187,031 to their contract with Creative Environmental Solutions Inc., to do another round of tests at the old Department of Public Works and Vehicle Maintenance site in Brooksville. The tests would help delineate the full scope of soil and water contamination on the site so that cleanup can begin.
Assistant county engineer Gregg Sutton told commissioners the hope is to complete the tests and forward a report to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by April, so a cleanup plan can be developed. The increase would bring the total spent on the project since 2005 to $1.74-million.
- Commissioners approved an ordinance to prevent owners of commercial vessels from conducting commercial activities in residential districts even if the boat is moored in a residential district.
While only two commercial boats in the Hernando Beach area have been grandfathered to be moored behind the homes of the owners, the new rules would prohibit the commercial fishermen from fueling, washing, repairing or unloading their catch while the vessel is docked at the homes.