Sarasota County Commission to consider a Water Quality Meeting, similar to Charlotte County
by Francesco Abbruzzino, The Scoop News
** Sorry, I was typing as they were speaking, and my speed is not like it was twenty years ago. So, tomorrow’s live stream will start at 9 and I will put out a notice, when it goes live.
Ziegler asked for a water summit similar to what Charlotte County is doing and to bring in groups that are concerned about this very issue.
Ziegler. Presentation from groups, public input, and county staff input. Some county staff is in Charlotte today, to see how they are running their water quality meeting.
Detert. Hearing from public that they are upset about red tide and the county is not doing enough. Charlotte is doing water databases, looking at trends, IDing new pollutants of concerns, inventory and mapping septic systems, support conversion of septic tanks, encourage maintenance of septic. All will cost money. Organizations she named are plenty such as Mote, but no grass root groups like HATW or Hands Along the Water were mentioned.
Detert. Need to bring the state legislatures into the picture. Sees it as a huge issue next year, so perhaps wait until their session is over.
Lewis (County Manager) will provide an update tomorrow, where they will discuss it further and it looks like all the commissioners are interested in the concept.
Zeigler we need a document that shows what the county has done, which we can present to the public.
Mike Moran. He wants to know who will take the lead on this issue. He suggests Mote because of the prestige and respect they have on this very issue. How will the money flow out of Tallahassee and will be have input?
Detert. Is what the county doing that is right? What we are doing is right, but is red tide unstoppable? Can it be stopped. We have done a lot of right things and we can prove it, like the cleanup of Donna Bay. We need action items, not just identifying the issues. Things like planting seed grass. We need to reassure the public with the action we have taken. We are aware of it and we are acting.
Hines. I tend not to talk about red tide because it is natural, so I take it out of the conversation. Instead I talk about water quality issue. What have we funded and what will make a difference? Someone needs to drive the bus with all these organizations.
Detert. The state legislature will prob. set aside $50-$100 million and then everyone will step up and state they have a program. This should be and will bean opportunity for Mote. They deal with a lot, prob. less with water quality, so we need more than one lead agency. Somebody must distribute the money to the agencies that will be handling or dealing w the problem.
The conversation will continue tomorrow, when the County Manager updates them on the plan.