Temple Crest Civic Association Meets to Discuss Water Issues by Nancy Morgan07/11/06
Lead: About 40 residents of the Temple Crest neighborhood in Tampa attended a meeting last evening to discuss the controversial plan by Tampa Bay Water to dump reclaimed water into the lower Hillsborough River to augment the flow of water instead of taking fresh water from the upper river, which is reserved for drinking water. WMNFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Nancy Morgan was there.
Water was on everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind. As a drenching rain poured outside, members gathered in the clubhouse of the Temple Crest Civic Association. Temple Crest, an area bordered on the North by Bush Blvd., the South by the Hillsborough River, the East by the Temple Terrace city limits, and the West by 30th St. has a rich history of citizen involvement. The meeting last evening drew residents who are concerned about preserving the health of the Hillsborough River, and ensuring a safe drinking water supply. Terry Neal, President of the Association, talked about why Temple Crest residents are especially interested in this issue.
Paula Dye, Chief Environmental Planner for Tampa Bay Water spoke first. She talked about the problem of ensuring future drinking water supplies.
She announced an alternative plan to the reclaimed water augmentation, which is a response to pressure from environmental groups.
The second invited speaker was Peter J. Schreuder, President of Schreuder, Inc., Water Resources and Environmental Consultants. Schreuder owns property in the Forest Hills Section and a spring called Blue Sink sits on that property. SchreuderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s company wants to restore Blue Sink and get the water flowing again after years of neglect. The spring was blocked decades ago when a car dealershipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dumpster sank into the spring and blocked the flow of water out of the spring into Curiosity Creek, stopping its downward flow to Sulpher Springs and eventually to the river. He spoke about how his restoration idea would help Tampa Bay Water.
SchreuderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s company has applied for a grant for the project from the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. One resident, Shelly Clark, concerned about who should pay to clean up Blue Sink, was the first to ask a question.
Terry Neal gave her an answer, but not the one she might have wanted to hear.
More discussion followed, and it was clear that these residents are concerned about the health of the river. Environmentalist, Phil Compton of Friends of the River, shared his ideas and then Terry Neal gave the audience some suggestions.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Nancy Morgan for WMNF news.