GIBBONS, TUCKER, MCEWEN, SMITH, COFER & TAUB M. o. OIBno.S,. 1s62.130
OUBT GIBB ONSO 196-19o70
ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELLORS AT LAW JAMES M. McXwaS 190Ls.x19
Le M. B LA3T DAVID B. MCWSC3'
606 MADISON STREET, P.O. BOX 1363 JOSEPH B. COFrBa MACOLM P. MICKL. Ii
TAMPA, FLORIDA 33601 THOMAS B. COwi, JR. GREGORT B. MIERZWTflXK
A. LMTCHBR DTCHS B. BRADPOBD MILLER
S(813) 228.7841 ARTHUR S. GIBBONS WILLIAM I. PLATT
KIRK M. GIBBONS MARSHA RDBGEO
MYRON G. GIBBONS ARM N H. SMITH, JR.
SAM M. GIBBONS ICHARD D. STEIN
October 11, 1977 BRUCa S. GOLDSTEIN THBODORE C. TA
JOHB A. GITTON, JR. WM. MARLR TUCKzE
VICTORIA I.. RUNT JACQUELTE B. WATLET
PILWP .B LAZZARA BOBET V. WRLLIAMS
Mr. Robert L. Watson, Director 70.rM=
Real Estate Division
Southwest Florida Water
5060 U.S. Highway 41 South
Brooksville, Florida 33512
RE: Cypress Creek Land Acquisition in Lower Pool
This will confirm the understanding we concurred in when
you and I met with Bobby Laseter and Charlie Miller last
week, when we discussed the results of the interagency
meeting between SWFWMD and the Corps of Engineers held on
September 29, 1977.
As I understand it, presently the Corps of Engineers
feels that the Cypress Creek/Squirrel Prairie Project
does not warrant federal participation because of the
low benefit/cost ratio. It is my further understanding
it is not anticipated that this will improve greatly in
the foreseeable future, especially in connection with the
lower pool, since the flood control benefit/cost ratio
must be greater than 1.0 before water supply and recreation
can even be considered.
Therefore, I recommend that we commence steps for dismissing
the Tampa Downs condemnation suit and cease any further
land acquisition in the lower pool of the Cypress Creek
Project pending further studies.
The Tampa Downs suit includes four parcels of land located
in the lower pool, some of which have been subdivided, but
most of which remain undeveloped. Part of the ownership
is held in trust and other is held in corporate names, but all
GIBBONS. TUCKER. McEWEN. SMl'a. COFER & TAUB CONTINUING OUR LETTER OF
are related in one form or another to ownership by
Tampa Downs and some of its principals, including
Mr. Mario Manetti. All parcels in this suit are
represented by the same attorney, Mr. Robert D. Sumner.
Under the law SWFWMD may dismiss a condemnation suit,
but it will be held liable for assessment of reasonable
fees and costs incurred by the owners in connection with
this suit. These costs can be anticipated to be substantial,
but there seems to be no way to avoid them.
This suit was originally filed in June, 1973 and has been
delayed from time to time. Attorneys for the property
owners have been pushing for a trial date and have
tentatively scheduled trial for next February. However,
it seems inappropriate for SWFWMD to proceed with completion
of this acquisition at this time.
If our governing board concurs in this recommendation, I will
advise our copetitioners under the Cypress Creek Agreement
(Pinellas County and the City of St. Petersburg). I believe
that they will concur in this recommendation, but we will
need to bring the matter to their attention.
I am sending copies of this letter to each member of the
governing board, as well as to members of the Hillsborough
and Pinellas-Anclote Basin Boards, so they may be kept advised.
L. M. Blain
cc: SWFWMD Governing Board Members
Hillsborough Basin Board Members
Pinellas-Anclote Basin Board Members
D. R. Feaster
bcc: Myron G. Gibbons