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The Tampa Tribune, Thursday, Deomit t 9, 10..
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Commission decides n otto
use valuable water permi
us -- *
By LINDSAY PETERSON
Tribune Staff Writer
RUSKIN The Billaborough-
County Commiulon voted Wednes.
day to retire Its Cockroah hy wa-
ter permit, prevematg trs er to
anyone n south Hlsbarough who
can't get a new permit because of
Last month, the commission vot-
ed to give 5,000 gallons of the
935,000-allon-per-day permit to the
state Department of Health and Re-
habilitative Services. The agency
plans to operate a work camp for
boys on 10 acres south of Wimau-
Wednesday's action will remove
the remainder of the permit from
the water rolls.
The county obtained the 935,000-
gallon allocation two years ago
when It paid $2.1 million for the 730
acres of environmentally sensitive
land previously used for farming.
Because the county didn't need
the water, Kurt Gremley, acquisl-
tion manager for llsborough's En--
vironmental Lands Acquisition and
Protection Program (ELAPP), pro-
posed offering it to someone who
Regional water restrictions have
halted the issuance of all new water
permits in south Hlllsborough, so
the only way to get one would be
through a transfer.
But Southwest Florida Water
Management District officials op-
posed the idea. South HiUsborough
is within what's known as the "most
impacted area," meaning it is most
vulnerable to saltwater intrusion
from Tampa Bay.
The ban on new water permits is
only one way to deal with the prob-
Water district officials say they
also want to reduce the amount of
water people already have been
permitted to use.
The district went along with the
youth camp transfer because it was
so small, said water district Execu-
tive Director Peter Hubbell.
But "for the sake of the water
resources, I urg the county to re-
tire these quantities rather than put
them to use," he wrote to county
In return for 5,000 gallons a day,
the boys from the work camp will
help clean up and maintain proper-
ty the county has bought for envi-
The camp is to open In January,
housing 30 teenage boys convicted
for such things as car theft.
They will live on the site about
five miles south of Wimauma while
working on ELAPP sites throughout
south Hillsborough, Ipcluding the
Cockroach Bay land.
The county's agreement with the
state social services agency re-
quires the youths provide 150,000
hours of labor over a 10-year peri-
od, Gremley said.