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This material together with a great deal of other material on wastewater treatment is included in the Duck Key Online archives since Duck Key's Wastewater Committee is currently studying options for sewering the residential islands of Duck Key. For those interested in learning about the island's history involving the issue of wastewater treatment and to get a picture of what the County is doing go to the index page at http://www.duckkeyonline.com

Then use the search utility on that page. Type in "wastewater" to locate all information on Duck Key and sewering.


 

Three Wastewater Articles and an editorial in the Key West Citizen
April 2, 2005

 
Key West Citizen editorial

It's time commissioners face wastewater facts

In an editorial in the Key West Citizen dated April 2 under the heading, It's time commissioners face wastewater facts County Commissioners were described as negligent and incompetent

 

The editorial stated,

"It's time for Spehar, McCoy and Nelson to wipe the sludge from their eyes and acknowledge the fact that their efforts on Stock Island were not, as jurors noted, in the public's best interest. They should leave wastewater project to the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, where engineers and utility experts &emdash; not politicians &emdash;make the decisions."

 

Some of the editorial quotes from the grand Jury report are provided below:

"The grand jury did find the County Commission and [county] officials negligent and incompetent in many aspects of the planning, approval and execution of the ... project," the report states. "... The grand jury has concluded that the County Commission does not have the best interest of the public in mind when turning over public sewerage infrastructure to KW Resort Utility, a privately owned company."

The report further states commissioners and staff "were negligent in their control of public funds. ... Simply put, someone did not do their job, whether it be intentional or in error."

 

The editorial reports,

"Spehar already has dismissed the grand jury report as incomplete and misleading &emdash; a situation she says the commission will clear up with a report of its own. "

Commission Sonny McCoy, a frequent cheerleader for KW Resort utilities, also cites unspecified inaccuracies, and points a finger of blame at Commissioner George Neugent &emdash; who, ironically, brought Stock Island problems to the attention of the Monroe County State Attorney's Office.

 

 


Grand jury report draws mixed reviews

 

Commissioner Neugent and Stock Island resident Kim Wiginton applaud the work of the grand Jury

Stock Island resident Kim Wigington, who has spent more than two years trying to bring attention to discrepancies and problems with the sewer project, said Friday, "It's a good day."

"I'm extremely pleased and appreciative of the grand jury for addressing almost every concern I've expressed over the last two years," said Wigington, who is out of town. "I just appreciate the grand jury so much. It was such a difficult task. That the process works is wonderful."

Neugent, too, was pleased that the problems he'd complained about for two years were out in the open and had been acknowledged by the grand jury.

Mayor Spehar dismisses finding as 'not quite accurate'

McCoy, long a proponent of the Stock Island project, laid blame on Neugent and former Commissioner Nora Williams,

 

 

 

 


Report: Sewer project plans were switched

"A confidential Monroe County grand jury report regarding a Stock Island sewer project lends credence to allegations of a bait-and-switch of project plans. "

"In the report, the grand jury wrote, "The project plans and contract were presented to the commission for approval by the county administrator, Jim Roberts. Mr. Roberts noted to the commissioners that the plans they were approving were the same as those previously submitted (date stamped May 21, 2002), however the date had been changed to May 30, 2002. This presentation by the county administrator was false."

"A majority of the County Commission, including Commissioners Charles "Sonny" McCoy and Murray Nelson, has steadfastly denied that any switch took place. "

" . . . two county employees whose signatures McCoy sought refused to sign the document. "

 

 

 

 Portions of the Grand Jury Report

 

Finding 2 &emdash; "...Contrary to the requirement of county ordinances and [the] contract, Mr. John L. London, former Monroe County Commissioner, received checks from the main contractor KW Resort Utilities totaling $147,500. The State Attorney's investigation found that Mr. London received monthly checks in the amount of $2,500 from the period of November 1998 until October 2003. The State Attorney's investigative report concluded in part ... there was complicity in the breach of the contract and ordinances on the part of individual county commissioners in that they allowed themselves to be influenced by John L. London in the implementation of this contract.

Finding 3 &emdash; "...The Grand Jury has found that the County Commission and other government officials were negligent in their failure to evaluate and assess potential financial burden being placed on some property owners being served by the new vacuum system. The Grand Jury concluded that the county did not do its homework in this regard prior to rushing into an agreement with the utility ... "

 

 

 

 

 

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