TO: QrL / t o. r
E S T,
FROM: E.D. VERGARA, Director, Department of interagency Coordination E 961 /
OCT 12 197
I4 l I C^ ^ o -^
11 October 1977
I have in my possession proposed designs for the "Cypress Creek" portion
of the Four I-ivers Basin Project. What is the final land configuration? How
much of this land does the Corps, et., al., currently own? How much do you
anticipate having to pay for these lands? What is the cost/benefit ratio?
Are you aware that in sections 9 and 10 of Tampa Downs Ranchettes there have
been several hundred sales in excess of $10,000 per acre? Was or is Judge
Burnside's orange grove property part of your project, since it was not and is
not in the 100 year (or 1) flood plain zone? How much was the Judge paid
for his land per acre? What improvements are located on the Judge's property
today? How was State money used for the purchase of this orange grove property
and the A & Z Holding Company's property? Why did we use an "emergency order"
of taking the land under eminent domain guaranteeing to pay the price settled
on in court no matter how much per acre. How can you figure cost/benefit ratios
with uncertain costs? What enabling legislation puts the State of Florida in
the water supply business? Was the cabinet mislead'purposely in the belief
that they were funding a non-existent joint federal project? With zoning,
subdivision regulations, H.U.D. and Land Sales Board registrations, D.R.I's,
Environmental Impact Statements, areas of critical State concern, Federal
Flood Insurance, for what purpose and is it necessary that the Federal Govern-
ment purchase these lands? Is the Federal Government going to be in the water
supply business? I have repeatedly requested for general design memorandums
and detailed memorandums for the Four River Basin Project and have always
been told they would be ready in from six months to one year. My inquiries
started three years ago. How was land purchased in either the Corps name or
or the State of Florida's name in the past without benefit of data? If we
Page 2 11 October 1977
purchase first and get the data later, do we not prostitute the integrity
of the data by having to justify the purchase after the fact?
Does the Corps know that the Southwest Florida Water Management District
declared much of the Cypress Creek and adjoining areas an emergency water
shortage area approximately six months before purchasing this land with St.
Petersburg, Pinellas, et.,, al,, so the later could extract millions of gallons
per day from a relatively small area of land ownership? This extracted water
ends up in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, lost forever, via sanitary sewers,
storm sewers, etc. If one can safely extract ten to thirty million gallons
per day while still in a negative, (below average), yearly rain posture, why
was the area an emergency water shortage area, complete with sprinkling bans
from private wells, a scant six months before? Which time was the Southwest
Florida Water Managenent District in error?
When rains come to the area, daily consumption from the regional well
fields is cut approximately in half, therefore, one half of these millions of
gallons water per day are being used to water geraniums, lawns, wash automobiles,
etc., and are obviously not necessary for human consumption or to sustain life.
The water poachers swore in Judge Williams court the water extracted from
Cypress Creek was necessary to sustain life in their area while simultaneously,
secretly and successfully negotiating to sell ten million gallons per day to
a private utility company in West pasco. Did the Corps swear in Federal Court
in the N.E.P.A. suit of Tampa Downs vs. Army Corps, Southwest Florida Water
Management District, et., al., that there was no federally authorized Four
River Basin Project, just prior to the purchase of the A & Z Holdir.n Corpsany
property and the above referenced Judge's orange grove property? Check the
resolutions and their clever wording from the Board of the Southwest Florida
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Page 3 11 October 1977
Water Management District to the Cabinet of the State of Florida for funding.
Did the State unwittingly fund a non-existent, non-planned federal project?
If Cypress Creek is a State project, is the State of Florida knowingly in the
water supply business? Is the State of Florida unknowingly in the water supply
business? One way or another, they are currently in the water supply business.
Does the Federal Government plan to be in the water supply business in the
Who owns the water under the lands adjoining regional well fields? If
one takes water out in excess of the land's and rainfall's ability to put
back, are you not harvesting or mining the adjoining land's water? Should not
the adjoining land owner by compensated under the Fifth Amendment to the
Since Cypress Creek is a major tributary to the Hillsborough River, what
negative affect will this project have on the water supply for Hillsborough
County and Tampa?
Large water consumers are given volumn discounts, does this encourage
Note the article in today's section B, final metro edition of the Tampa
Tribune, where the State required Hillsborough Community College to give back
project monies. Should the same rule apply at Cypress Creek?
The science of hydrology will not give in to political and financial
expediency any more than will oil and gas.
Who will be held responsible for the "Rape of Cypress Creek"?
When will the public be given an explanation or answers to ALL the above
questions? Are these hearings legitimate or a sham? I would personally
appreciate answers to these questions in writing.
Benton R. Murphey
15000 Highway 54 West
Zephyrhills, Florida 33599