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Owned By O official "
By CHARLES HIENDRICK (K
Tribune Staff Writer
Pasco Couny rancher S C. "Bud" Bexlv; a member of
the Southwest Florida Water Management District, is nego-
tiatin, with county officials to sell water rights on 5.090 acres
"of his ran'-hailad for a possible f1.8 million in a transaction 1
which will. if completed, require SWFWMD approval before
water can be pumped.
Bexlky said the de;il, originated by the county, is still ten-
tative and "very much still in the talking stage." Hie also
said he has filed with the proper officials a conflict of interest
statement outlining his negotiations. and has advised other
members of SWFWM D of his actions.
JAK: VAtN. former water board counsel a olw o Ireal S.',. S iud" PJ,lc v
consultant for Pasco County on water matters, confirmed
that He':tey and other. hve teen appro:eahed in an attempt ...district lnrniber
to find a suitable source for water needed before the next dry
season in Southwest Pasco.
Bexley said he has also taken the position that he will ab-
stain from voting as a SWFWMI) member on all matters con-
cerning the use of his land by Pasco as a water source.
Bexley said he was first approached around Sept. 26 by
,,arn on the idea that some part of the Bexley famnilyS 15,000
acres in Pasco might be tapped for Pasco County whtir. lie
said he filed the conflict statement Sept. 29 and mailIed-lotters
to other board members the same date, an effort to ncet any
charges of conflict and secrecy.
S BEXIEY SAID a "ballpark" figure of $20 per acre per
year on the 5,000 acres under consideration was'disoussed
with Varn, but no price has been fixed because negotiations
are still active.
Bexley said he would insist that any agreement c,1! for A
single payment, estimated at perhaps $1.3 million tLVarn.
The agreement to sell would give lP sco rerp.ual rights to
the water in the area, but Bexley si id bt wo'ild agree to no
more than the legally set "water irop" of 1,000 gallons an
acre a day. : a o.
That limit would give Pasco County five millioirgallons
per day, Varn said.5 5.
PASCO COUNTY Commission Chairman Mike Ol$or said
the county hopes to establish a Pasco County wate'r-system
which would begin with use of water from one of tle owners
contacted by Varn, whether Bexley or someone else.
The plan, Varn and Olson said, calls for tapping land for
water which would be piped westward in the t'inellas-St.
Petersburg water line reaching from the Cypress Creek well-
field. That line passes through BJexley's property.
The county does not propose, at this point, ltoL service
water customers in West Pasco, Olson said. R:iatlc the
water would be sold to private utility firms for distribution.
The entire project would require issuance of county birds of
at least $4.6 million, commissioners said.
A CIRCUIT court recently stalled St. 'Petersburg-Pldellas
plans for the Cypress Creek wellfield by ordering that no
water be pumped until a regional impact study is completed,
Varn said. Both he and Bexley said they did not know if the
same time-consuming plan might bh, required for the Pasco
County proposal. '
Bexley said his "ultimate goal" as a member of.W.F'MD
would be to limit the pumping of water in the district to the
water crop for each given area-meaning that no water could
be taken from any given well if surrounding areas would be
He said the St. Petersburg-owned South 'Pasco well field,
"which got in before we (SWFWMI) could control them," is
pumping some la' to 22 million gallons of water per day Irom
an area of about one square mile.
"If I do sell my water rights to the county. thdy will he
Pumping no more than five million gallons per day from 5.000
c rres." Bexley "I would not agIree to any more pumping than
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