THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, Wednesday, April 3,1985 5-B
Officials fear loss
of water board office
By DEBORAH BACON
Tribune Staff Writer "I think they want more control
over who is going to get it," McAteer
BROOKSVILLE Hernando responded. McAteer speculated that
commissioners Tuesday said in no Hillsborough County wanted more
uncertain terms that they want re- control over regional water re-
gional water headquarters to stay in sources.
Hernando County instead of moving Samson, contacted by the Trib-
to Tampa. une at a water district board meet-
Contending that a current study ing workshop, called Kimbrough's
could result in the loss of the South- letter "very premature."
west Florida Water Management "We have no idea of what the
District office now south of study will indicate," Samson said.
Brooksville on U.S. Highway 41 The $48,000 study, requested two
commissioners agreed to fire off let- months ago, will evaluate the dis-
ters of protest to Gov. Bob Graham trict's current space needs and
and the Hernando County legislative "what might be appropriate down
delegation. The water district has the road," he said.
hired a private firm to complete a "We have no idea of whether it
study on current and future office will recommend whether the district
space needs. should remain here or whether ft
Commissioners took their stand should be located elsewhere, and:
after former water board chairman whether that elsewhere should be
Derrill McAteer appeared before Tampa."
them, waving a letter sent by banker Samson said any decision by the
James Kimbrough, a former basin governing board would await results
board chairman, to Bruce Samson, of the study by Adley Associates Inc.
district water board chairman. of Sarasota, expected in two months.
"I'm concerned. People have He refused to commit the board
been told they are going to move," to public hearings, but said public
McAteer insisted. input "would be welcomed."
Kimbrough said in his letter, The district is cramped because.
"We are concerned about state- new state regulations are requiring
ments being made throughout this the district to beef up its staff, ac-
area by district employees of the cording to Bob Bryant, district
possibility of moving the district as a spokesman.
result of the study." Kimbrough de- The district headquarters was es-
manded that public hearings be held tablished south of Brooksville when
throughout the district before any the district was created 24 years
move was made. ago. Commissioners said that mov-
"We're talking about 178 upper- ing the office would result in esti-
echelon jobs. We don't need to lose mated replacement cost of the $6
them," said Commission Chairman million structure built with taxpay-
Len Tria. The water board employs ers' money.
287 full-time employees, 178 of They also said the loss in jobs
whom live in Hernando County. would severely affect the county, al-
"Do you think they want our ready hit with job losses as a result
water," asked Commissioner Tom of the citrus freeze and facing a high
Lyons. unemployment rate.