Basin boards have new
allies in Hernando.
By STEVE ZUCKERMAN them a temporary injunction pre-
Pasco Time Staff Writer venting the board of governors from
taking any action until the issue can
BROOKSVILLE At the urging be resolved in court?
of State Rep. Chuck Smith (D- "When you take the money away
Brooksville), Hernando County corn- from anybody you're taking their
missioners on Thursday agreed to power," Commissioner Len Tria said
join lawmakers in several other coun- during an interview Thursday.
ties in fighting an attempt to strip a
local basin boards of their taxing "THIS IS very critical to a coun-
authority. ty like Hernando that's water rich."
"The commission agreed to file a Smith said commissioners in De-
suit against the board of governors of Soto and Hardee counties have al-
the Southwest Florida Water Man- ready filed suit. He said lawmakers in
agement District. At a meeting in Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk coun-
Tampa about*two weeks ago, mem- ties are considering doing so.
bers of the board of governors said The boad of governors believe
they want to take the right to tax that legislation passed during the re-
away from basin boards, which are cent session in Tallaltassee gives
subdivisions of the water district that them the authority to reduce the
handle local water issues. budgets of the basin boards.
Smith opposes that, as do Her- Smith and commissioners disa-
"nando county commissioners. gree. So does Derrill McAteer who
served as chairman of Swiftmud for
LOCAL OFFICIALS say that 13 years. McAteer attended Thurs-
the larger board is controlled by ur- day special commission meeting.
ban interests which need water and McAteer said that the larger wa-
would not represent counties like ter management board is controlled
Hernando that have water. by representatives of heavily popu-
By agreeing Thursday to take le- lated urban areas areas that tradi-
gal action, commissioners decided to tionally need more water than what
ask a circuit court judge to grant they have.