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Water panel postpones Mosaic decision

Published By: Bradenton Herald

Members of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority on Wednesday put off any decision on a proposed agreement with the Mosaic mining company until January, but that didn't stop Manatee Commissioner Jane von Hahmann from airing her concerns.

Manatee County's representative, von Hahmann raised several issues regarding a proposed regional reservoir Mosaic would provide the authority under the agreement, particularly its location and the length of time before the land would be deeded to the authority.

"Manatee County does not want the reservoir sited in the Lake Manatee watershed," she said.

While authority Director Pat Lehman said the 20-year time frame for obtaining the land fits in with the authority's water supply planning, in an interview later that day, von Hahmann said she would still like to see the 20 years reduced.

"My hope is that the choice of property, and the deed for the property, will occur much sooner than 20 years."

Proposed this summer as a way to end costly court battles between local governments and Mosaic over mining sites while improving environmental safeguards in mining, the pact has undergone many revisions since it was unveiled.

Charlotte and DeSoto county commissions have voted in favor of the compact, but neither Manatee nor Sarasota counties have voted on the compact itself. Sarasota voted Nov. 26 to end negotiations based on the current draft.

Another member of the compact negotiation team, Lee County, is seeking to arrange a meeting with Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

Rosalie Shaffer, Herald correspondent, may be contacted at rshaffer@mail.org.

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