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Whether or not there is a new daily post at this website, there probably is a new daily post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach daily by clicking on that link. I’m living in Key West presently, running for mayor again, strolling more accurately, and that’s where much of the action for me is currently. You also should be able see today’s features at that website by clicking on this link anytime:
Below, in reverse time order, is a chain of emails which go to the heart of the grinder pump war in the Cudjoe Regional Sewer System in the Florida Keys. Start at the bottom and read up, to follow the chain of events.
From: email@example.com (my, Sloan’s, email address)
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: RE: Neugents Reply To: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2014 05:20:52 -0400
Although $29 million is a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things, I’m glad to see more state money being provided to help Mother Nature in the Florida Keys and on the Florida mainland.
However, I don’t see what that has to do with George Neugent’s reply to Mrs. xxx re Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System. George’s reply should be in a sewer grinder pump getting chopped into fecal mush. Other than that, George’s can be boiled down to this part of his email to Mrs. xxx:
“The FKAA has designed and put in-place the most inclusive overall least expensive and best operating system in the Keys. Grinder pumps will provide service equal to or better than gravity or vacuum. Grinder pumps are used in every system from Ocean Reef to Key West. Maybe a higher % of pumps in comparison, however, if one were to feel they’re flawed – not 1 should be in any of the systems. LPS is the best system for the KEYS.”
If George had truly believed all of that, he would have lobbied, hollered, screamed and pounded his office desk and the dais at County Commission meetings for grinder pumps to be put on every piece of inhabited unincorporated Monroe County real estate, to save the state government, the county government, and the state and county taxpayers a heap of money.
Ditto for the other four County Commissioners.
Ditto for Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority officials and elected Board of Directors.
Ditto for Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials.
Ditto for Holly Raschein.
Ditto for Governor Scott.
All of whom, with respect to sewering the lower Florida Keys, seem to have their heads far up inside there own private sewer systems where the sun never shines.
No way, if George had believed what he wrote to Mrs. xxx, would George have voted to give Walt Drabinsky gravity in his Sugarloaf Key neighborhood, instead of the grinder pumps already designed to go into there. For sure, if George had believed what he wrote to Mrs. xxx, George would have lobbied, hollered, screamed and pounded for the other four County Commissioners to vote to give Walt’s neighborhood grinder pumps throughout, instead of giving Walt’s neighborhood gravity sewer systems wherever they were feasible.
George’s reply to Mrs. xxx is just so much horseshit that it’s an insult to horses.
I keep wondering what has gotten into George?
Is there an under the table deal with the grinder pump company, which just so happened to open an office and get a warehouse in Marathon where George lives around the time the grinder pump infestation was all coming to a head, over what I have heard was Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s preference for gravity sewer systems wherever feasible?
Is George going through menopause? Is he losing his mental facilities? Is he developing multiple personality disorder and does even know which of him is speaking and writing, and when?
George and his sweet wife Suzie both have been battling cancer. Perhaps that is affecting George’s mind? Perhaps he is so stressed out, so upset, that he simply cannot think clearly any more?
And what about FKAA? At a public meeting in Key West, FKAA’s elected Board Chairman Bob Dean said FKAA preferred gravity and would install it everywhere feasible in Cudjoe Regional, if the County Commission would provide the money for it.
And what about DEP? I’m sure Banks Prevatt would love to explain to Governor Scott why, with respect to Cudjoe Regional, DEP stands for Department of Environmental Pillaging. Putting DEP in charge of sewering Cudjoe Regional is the same as putting a fox in a hen house to guard the chickens. The same as putting Florida State University in charge of investigating the rape charges against Jameis Winston. If Governor Scott is intersted, I, and others, will be happy to explain why DEP is best friend developers, Big Sugar and other farm combines ever had in Florida.
There are quite serious parables in the Gospels, told by Jesus, about the requirements of being a good steward and the peril of not being one. DEP’s head answers to Governor Scott. In God’s Courtroom, Governor Scott is where the Cudjoe Regional buck stops.
Same analogy applies to Holly Raschein, who promised during her campaign in 2012 that she was a Florida Keys girl and she would always look out for the Keys if she was elected. I heard her say that a few times at candidate forums that year.
Same analogy applies to DEP and FKAA. In God’s Courtroom, you both are in deep doo doo, because you both should have told George Neugent and the other four county commissioners to use gravity wherever feasible in Cudjoe Regional, and you weren’t going to participate in anything else.
Whatever, the last thing George should be doing now is be gearing up to run for re-election.
I called Banks Prevatt day before yesterday and asked if he was aware of the grassroots movement on www.bigpinekeycom ‘s widely read Coconut Telegraph bitch and praise blog, for Banks to run against George this year? Banks said he was not aware of that and he has no interest in the job.
I said, well, if he ever did have interest in the job, the way to go about running is to file as an Independent, and not as a Republican, which Banks said he is. I said his filing as an Independent will close the Republican Primary to only registered Republican voters. In that race, George will run against Danny Coll, a Cuban American, who got 45 percent of the votes against George in the 2010 Republican primary. In my opinion, Danny would have won that primary if I had not filed in that race as an Independent, which blocked registered Independents and Democrats from voting in that Republican primary.
I told Banks it might be that Danny will beat George in this year’s Republican primary, whether it is open or closed. However, if there is an Independent candidate, George has to beat Danny in the Republican primary, and then George has to beat the Independent candidate in the general election, in which registered Republican, Democrat and Independent voters all can vote. Even if George wins both elections, he at least is put through the ringer doing it. If George loses, he is put out to pasture.
Looks to me that George is so identified with being a county commissioner that he cannot differentiate himself from the office; the two, George and the office, have merged as one. Meaning, I am not hopeful George will retire voluntarily. He might like retiring voluntarily better than running again and losing. And, he might like retiring voluntarily better than running again and then have something unexpected happen to make his and Susie’s life even more difficult.
That was not in the least intended at a threat. I have seen heaps angel interventions in my and other people’s lives without the angels even being invited in. I have seen people manhandled by angels, and often the people had no clue it was angels messing with them, instead of just another unexpected bump in the road of life.
Other people identified in this email might consider they are not protected from angel messing, either. Nor am I.
Sloan Bashinsky, Key West
ex-lawyer, among other dubious past and current endeavors
www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com , where this email chain will be featured today
www.goodmorningkeywest.com , where Key West gets featured daily
Fwd: Neugents Reply To: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System?
Bgprevatt@?aol.com (Bgprevatt@aol.com)Add to contacts 4/04/14
Picture of Bgprevatt@aol.com
FYI — This went our from one in our group. — banks
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Erin.Muir@myfloridahouse.gov, Kate.DeLoach@myfloridahouse.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com, email@example.com, Abdul.Ahmadi@dep.state.fl.us, Jon.Iglehart@dep.state.fl.us, Gary.Maier@dep.state.fl.us, Albert.McLaurin@dep.state.fl.us, Gus.Rios@dep.state.fl.us, Matthew.SmithKennedy@dep.state.fl.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Sent: 4/4/2014 1:35:24 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: RE: Neugents Reply To: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
Please see the comments of elected representatives below. The decision to maximize v. minimize grinders is going in the opposite direction of our senior policy leaders. Please rethink now that additional funds are available.
Subject: FYI: GOVERNOR SCOTT ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $29 MILLION TO IMPROVE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER QUALITY
From: Governor’s Press Office [mailto:Governor’sPressOffice@eog.myflorida.com]
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2014 12:05 PM
Subject: GOVERNOR SCOTT ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $29 MILLION TO IMPROVE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER QUALITY
Gov Scott photo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2014
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
GOVERNOR SCOTT ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $29 MILLION TO IMPROVE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER QUALITY
~Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans for wastewater and stormwater projects~
MIAMI, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott was joined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. to announce the 10 wastewater and stormwater projects receiving more than $29 million in loan funding for South Florida through the Department’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.
Governor Scott said, “Investing in water quality in South Florida is important to all the families who live in the area. These critical projects will help keep Floridians and our environment healthy. We must continue our focus to improve water quality throughout the state to ensure that Florida remains the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
Senator Rene Garcia said, “In order for our state to continue to attract visitors, we must continue to prioritize spending on our environment. Today’s announcement of wastewater and stormwater treatment upgrades is good for our economy and for all Floridians.”
Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla said, “The quality of life we enjoy in South Florida is due in large part by the quality of the environment we live in. I am glad that Governor Scott and Florida DEP understand that we must remain committed to Florida’s environment.”
Representative Eddy Gonzalez said, “Governor Scott’s commitment to water quality is admirable. These wastewater and stormwater treatment projects are important to everyone in South Florida.”
Representative Jose R. Oliva said, “For years the State Revolving Fund has given communities the boost they need to implement technologies that will change the impact they have on our state’s delicate water resources. Governor Scott has once again provided that bump to put local governments in a position to make a difference.”
Representative Carlos Trujillo said, “Florida’s water resources deserve our full attention and as much support as we can possibly offer. Governor Scott’s distribution of the State Revolving Fund shows his commitment to our environment, our water and South Florida’s long term future.”
Representative Manny Diaz, Jr. said, “Governor Scott and DEP again have shown that they are committed to Florida’s water quality. Today’s announcement is great news for all of the families in the area.”
Representative George Moraitis said, “Florida’s water quality is important to so many aspects of life in our great state. Thank you to Governor Scott for realizing the importance of protecting Florida’s water resources.”
Representative Holly Merrill Raschein said, “The folks living in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties may never personally witness the effects of these water quality investments, but their children and grandchildren will be forever grateful for the State Revolving Fund and the help it provides to our local communities.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said, “Thank you to Governor Scott and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for their continued commitment to water quality in Miami-Dade County. With our county’s economic growth, it is important that we invest in wastewater and stormwater treatment to ensure that we continue to protect our environment. Today’s announcement is good for all families in South Florida.”
Secretary Vinyard said, “Governor Scott continues to demonstrate his commitment to the protection of Florida’s water resources. This funding will bring water treatment upgrades to South Florida communities who are looking to preserve our state’s waterbodies.”
The Projects in South Florida Include
Miami-Dade – $6,000,000
The proposed project will expand the peak flow treatment capacity of the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant to 285 million gallons per day. The plant will also be upgraded to provide high level disinfection for the entire peak flow. This is an increase of an original loan for $120,000,000.
Monroe County – $6,000,000
The project consists of constructing a wastewater treatment plant, transmission main and wastewater collection system to serve the communities from Lower Sugarloaf Key through No Name key. The transmission and collection system will serve approximately 9,000 homes. This is an increase of an original loan for $65,000,000.
Islamorada – $6,000,000
This project is for the construction of a regional wastewater collection and transmission system for the Village of Islamorada. Approximately 6,765 homes will be served by this system. This is an increase of an original loan for $71,000,000.
Marathon – $27,300
This project is complete and included collection, transmission, treatment, and disposal with stormwater collection and treatment in Marathon’s service area 3. Approximately 1,459 homes that are currently on septic tanks and cesspits will be served by an advanced water treatment plant. This is an increase of an original loan for $12,500,000.
Marathon – $519,000
This project is complete and involved creating wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in Marathon’s service area 5 that replaced approximately 1,278 septic tanks and cesspits. This is an increase of an original loan for $21,000,000.
Key Largo – $2,560,000
This project is complete and involved the construction of an advanced water treatment plant with a capacity of 2.3 million gallons per day that will eventually serve all of Key Largo. This is an increase of an original loan for $55,500,000.
Key Largo – $4,200,000
This project consists of the construction of a new digester as well as the conversion of an existing digester into a third Sequencing Batch Reactor to provide additional capacity. This expansion is necessary because Islamorada will be sending all of their effluent to Key Largo for treatment and disposal.
Dania Beach – $286,000
This project will address phase III of the infiltration and inflow corrections in Dania Beach and will also include repairs to lines in first two phases.
North Miami – $3,500,000
This project will correct excessive inflow and infiltration problems for 13 basins.
Miramar – $560,000
This project will allow for the construction of sewers, a lift station and force mains to serve 775 residents and businesses and eliminate septic tanks.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides financial savings for projects that benefit the environment, including protection of public health and conservation of local watersheds. The State Revolving Fund program was established in 1989 to provide low-interest financing for the planning, design and construction of wastewater and stormwater facilities, in compliance with the Clean Water Act. This program has awarded $3.8 billion in loans since its inception, and more than $1.4 billion in funding for 96 projects in just the last five years. Funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings, state revolving fund loans are offered at interest rates. Repayments from earlier loans are used to make new loans, allowing the program to continue operating.
For more information on the State Revolving Fund program, please visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff/ .
From: Bgprevatt@aol.com [mailto:Bgprevatt@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 4:45 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Erin.Muir@myfloridahouse.gov; Kate.DeLoach@myfloridahouse.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com; email@example.com; Abdul.Ahmadi@dep.state.fl.us; Jon.Iglehart@dep.state.fl.us; Gary.Maier@dep.state.fl.us; Albert.McLaurin@dep.state.fl.us; Gus.Rios@dep.state.fl.us; Matthew.SmithKennedy@dep.state.fl.us; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: Neugents Reply To: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
George and the other commissioners will tell you how much research they each did before making a decision. I wonder how many of them even know of this plan much less read it.
In a message dated 3/18/2014 2:50:04 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
While George seems to be emphatic that low pressure systems are the best, I find it interesting the Monroe County Wastewater Master Plan and the Islamorada Wastewater Master Plan both conclude that vacuum collection systems are the most suitable for the Florida Keys. The 2012 Wastewater Master Plan approved by the Village expresses that the vacuum collection system is preferred. Page 14 of the Plan: “This alternative was selected based on current knowledge of using vacuum sewers as the preferred method of collection in the Florida Keys and the minimal burden to homeowners. Additionally, the reliability, constructability, cost effectiveness, and aesthetic benefits provided by using vacuum sewer in the majority of the project makes this the preferred alternative.”
From: Bgprevatt@aol.com [mailto:Bgprevatt@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:14 AM
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Erin.Muir@myfloridahouse.gov; Kate.DeLoach@myfloridahouse.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Abdul.Ahmadi@dep.state.fl.us; Jon.Iglehart@dep.state.fl.us; Gary.Maier@dep.state.fl.us; Albert.McLaurin@dep.state.fl.us; Gus.Rios@dep.state.fl.us; Matthew.SmithKennedy@dep.state.fl.us
Subject: Re: Neugents Reply To: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
Shame on you. This lady lives, works, plays, votes and raised her family in your district. She does not live on Mars.
For her and many of us your reply is unbelievable. Ignoring the pontifications and self asserted great warrior status in your first paragraph, your concluding statement in the second paragraph staggers common sense. I quote you, “LPS is the best system for the KEYS.”
George, please take a few minutes and explain to this lady why the original design of the system for the Lower Keys was all gravity and why, despite FKAA’s continuous call that gravity is better and that they prefer gravity, you know better than the experts you have chosen and insist on grinders. If you truly believe in LPS and cheaper, have you looked at STEP? This dovetails very well with what is already in the ground and would save millions upon millions.
In your third paragraph you state, “To think the FKAA or County would purposely designate convey a flawed system is ludicrous.”
What is ludicrous is the way the BOCC handled the mandate for central sewer in the Keys. Since the mandate had to do with the quality of our near shore waters, one would expect the best system available for that purpose, not the cheapest.
What is also ludicrous, George, is the way the BOCC handled the intent of money raised by a sales tax referendum. This was sold to the public as the item that would fully fund the sewer system before it became a grab bag for pet projects. I have heard you say that the system is fully funded. The public was sold on a proper system, not the cheapest mandated by the BOCC.
In your closing paragraph, you tell this lady, your constituent, ” the most efficient inclusive system to best serve you.”
Come on, George. How can you make such a statement and look yourself in the mirror? Are you the only one that does not know gravity is the most efficient inclusive system to best serve?
In a message dated 3/17/2014 10:53:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
He’s not too happy with me…….xxx
To: Mrs. xxx
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Marble-Terri@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov, Neugent-George@monroecounty-fl.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Erin.Muir@myfloridahouse.gov, Kate.DeLoach@myfloridahouse.gov
Sent: 3/17/2014 10:06:10 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Fwd: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
I’m writing this e-mail to appeal to your integrity and fairness.
I’m not exactly sure how to respond to your letter other than with the Polite candor and frankness of the FKAA’s and Monroe County’s integrity and fairness.
30 years of living in the Keys, 16 years of public service, within a place I hold in my heart as if it were my child, I hope you will realize that my words are my bond and consummate belief. And, I am the commissioner of this District – a geographically described area I have to live within to run for office – however, I’m elected countywide and truly believe in being recognized as a county commissioner.
I’m not sure where you are getting your information Mrs xx, however, your source is shamefully misrepresenting the facts to you. The facts of the matter is that The Cudjoe Regional is getting the least expensive and best system of all systems in the Keys while have having 5 additional years to plan for its implementation. The FKAA has designed and put in-place the most inclusive overall least expensive and best operating system in the Keys. Grinder pumps will provide service equal to or better than gravity or vacuum. Grinder pumps are used in every system from Ocean Reef to Key West. Maybe a higher % of pumps in comparison, however, if one were to feel they’re flawed – not 1 should be in any of the systems. LPS is the best system for the KEYS.
The FKAA will maintain and operate the system and the County will forever, as a partner, own and provide reliable and dependable service to its constituents. There, you have it in writing. Your cost for service will be equal or less than other newly developed service areas in the county. Gravity would increase the overall/your cost. The system as designed will bring everyone fairly into a well engineered system that will provide years of dependable service. Those who use the scare tactics you’re hearing, the misinformation being conveyed they should be ashamed of themselves. To think the FKAA or County would purposely designate convey a flawed system is ludicrous.
The State, through the Department of Environmental Protection, has signed off on the design. The State, under the only leadership committed to the water quality commitment, Governor Rick Scott, and State Rep Holly Raschein, delivered 50million $s to assist in putting in place the most efficient inclusive system to best serve You.
With kindest regards, I remain
Monroe County Commissioner
Subj: Fwd: Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System
I’m writing this e-mail to appeal to your integrity and fairness
I live on Big Pine Key (XXX STREET ADDRESS) and it seems that I and my family on the next block are slated for “grinder pumps”. I have been a resident in the Florida Keys since 1971. My family has been and still is involved with Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. I am a widow living on my Social Security and husband’s retirement. My husband retired after 25 years, all of my sons have been deputies here. Also working for the Sheriff is my daughter who in June will have 29 years and her husband is at the airport and getting ready to retire in a year and a half and their son is a fireman in Key West with a wife, 4 year old son and a new baby. We are community minded every day citizens.
I’m so disappointed with FKAA and our County Commissioners especially the commissioner for our district for backing and deciding with no rhyme or reason who will get gravity and who will get grinders. Let alone the added expenses. The cost of permits, the extra electrical involved with grinders, the dangers of gas connected with them, the explosions that they are all talking about, the maintenance of them and the loss of our facilities.
There have been studies done comparing them with other methods including Gravity with Grinders being the worst system and Gravity coming out on top as one of the best. So why are you even considering them?
We have no WRITTEN guarantees from FKAA that you will maintain them forever. Whose to say that a month after installation you drop the ball and give us the responsibility of maintenance or began to charge us a fee to cover the maintenance?
Why is it that one block or several blocks have the grinders and then the next several blocks have the gravity and then back for a few more blocks you see the grinders?
These are my questions and fears but the biggest ones are money and not being able to use our facilities such as bathrooms, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc., etc. when we lose power. Having lived down here for so many years I have experienced loss of electric not only for hurricanes, but from overloads on the grids when the Keys have tourist such as Spring Break or Christmas, from a boat mast hitting the power lines and even from rain storms and windy conditions. So you say you have 1 or 2 trucks to go around and each has the capacity to pump 100 houses a day, what do the other homes do in the meantime? Are you going to go around and set up portable potties? You claim MAYBE all the part time residents won’t be here? You’ve got to be kidding!!
We’re talking about hard working families, young families that are trying to survive here in the Keys and you are putting a heavy burden on us all. If you were not able to come up with the original cost of $4500. it was put on your tax bill thus increasing your mortgage payment. The thought of coming up with another $3000. or $4000. is overwhelming.
I’m pleading for you to reconsider the grinders and give all of us the gravity pumps. We shouldn’t be punished because the monies have been used elsewhere.
CC: Governor Scott
left to right, the Defendants George Neugent, Holly Raschein, Rick Scott
left to right, artist’s rendition of Mother Nature, wild queen conch