Funding requested for infrastructure projects that reduce flooding and protect springs
At the Monday, December 3, 2018 Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners requested funding for infrastructure projects that will create and maintain functionally appropriate, sustainable, accessible and high-quality facilities in our community. The delegation included Chairman Representative Blaise Ingoglia, Vice Chairman Representative Ralph Massullo, Jr., M.D. and Senator Wilton Simpson.
The following projects were presented to the delegation for potential funding:
Project Name: Airport Water Reclamation Facility Expansion to Decommission Spring Hill (Osowaw) Water Reclamation Facility
Total Requested Amount: $5,000,000
Hernando County Contribution: $21,000,000
This proposed springs protection project would expand the Airport Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) from a permitted capacity of 3.5 million gallons per day (MDG) to 6 MGD. This expansion is required and is the critical path to take the Spring Hill (Osowaw) contact stabilization WRF offline. The Spring Hill WRF has out-of-date technology that does not nitrify or denitrify wastewater. Subsequently, the effluent from the Spring Hill WRF currently discharges in the Weeki Wachee Priority Focus Area and is releasing high concentrations of nitrogen into the springshed. The planned Airport WRF expansion would meet the new Weeki Wachee Basin Management Action Plan effluent limits for total Nitrogen.
Project Name: Septic to Sewer, District A, Phase 1
Total Requested Amount: $10,400,000
Hernando County Contribution: $2,600,000
This proposed springs protection project would provide a central wastewater collection and transmission system to county residents in approximately half of District A defined in the Septic to Sewer Study. The project would provide sewer service to approximately 450 properties in the Spring Hill area of Hernando County. It would include the construction of multiple pumping stations, gravity sewers and force-mains necessary to collect the wastewater produced and convey it to the Glen Water Reclamation Facility. The project also includes the reconstruction of roads, driveways, sidewalks, etc., that will be damaged or removed to facilitate construction of the utility infrastructure.
Project Name: Design & Construction Runway 27 Extension
Total Requested Amount: $5,000,000
Hernando County Contribution: $1,000,000
This proposed Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV) infrastructure project would extend the existing 7,000-foot Runway 27 by an additional 999 feet to satisfy the identified length requirements for Runway 9-27. BKV is a base for a high volume of on-demand air ambulance and aircraft repair businesses that fly to destinations throughout the world and may operate in a higher payload range. These types of aircraft often require additional runway length because of their higher maximum take-off weight and/or individual performance characteristics. The extension would improve the efficiency and safety of aircraft movements throughout the airfield and maximize aviation development opportunities on the property.
Project Name: Waterways Multi-Use Coastal Facility – Storm Surge Mitigation Upgrade
Total Requested Amount: $500,000
Hernando County Contribution: $100,000
This proposed retrofit project would replace the existing 1960s single-story Waterways Department office with an elevated building above the base flood level which will meet or exceed the current Florida Building Code. The building would meet ADA standards and include an elevator. The existing parking lot would be redesigned, and landscaping would be installed to meet current design standards and to ensure proper buffer to neighboring residential homes.
The building and parking area, shared among the Waterways Department, the Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee and the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences Sea Grant Agent, must be evacuated before and after every storm that is expected to exceed 4-foot tides. This disrupts service to the community and delays emergency response to navigational aids and hazards. Insurance premiums for this building cost roughly $14,000 per year.
Project Name: WPA Road Improvements
Total Requested Amount: $1,250,000
Hernando County Contribution: $437,500
This proposed flood control project would raise WPA Road to a minimum of .5 feet above the approved FEMA floodplain elevation. The road is in central Hernando County and serves as a direct connection between the State Road 50 / I-75 corridor and the residential neighborhoods along Mondon Hill Road. The flood prone area is approximately 2,000 feet long and 4.5 feet low. When flooding occurs, residents are required to make lengthy detours of up to seven miles and affects emergency service response times. The new road would be designed to modern standards providing water quality treatment and reducing annual maintenance costs.