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Tarpon Springs to negotiate purchasing Anclote River dredge site

Posted on May 22, 2024

Commissioners unanimously gave City Manager Mark LeCouris the go-ahead to negotiate the purchase of the Anclote River dredge material spoil site on L&R Industrial Boulevard, currently owned by Anclote Properties.

LeCouris said the property has most recently been leased by the city for the dewatering of Anclote River dredge property sediments. The purchase, estimated at around $5.5 million, will have to be approved by voters in a November referendum.

“We do have one last opportunity in talking with the Stamas family to purchase this property,” LeCouris said. “The Stamas family has already begun plans to do something on that property for themselves. They agreed to offer it to the city again; one of the conditions is we’re able to get it on the November referendum.”

He called the deal “a major purchase, a major amount of money.” He said he would bring a recommendation for financing, “which will be some type of bank loan,” back to the commission, hopefully at a June 4 meeting.

The property has been used on two separate occasions over the last 25 years to store dredged sediment from the Anclote River. LeCouris said the property is ideal due to its proximity to the river, favorable elevation, and adequate size.

Prior to the most recent dredge, the city worked with a consultant to prepare a site feasibility study to look at other options, but the existing spoil site was the most favorable.

For the most recent dredge work, the city leased the property for more than seven years at a cost of about $770,000.

Aside from the use of the property as a spoil site, the additional acres could be used for future expansion of the water plant, including a second main water tank, which is anticipated around the same time as the next dredge project, LeCouris said. Other future uses could be an expansion of the public works yard, a utility storage yard and future city water wells.

Commissioner Panagiotis Koulias said he is in favor of having the city manager bring it back to the commission for consideration. “It falls into long-range planning for the city,” he said.

George Stamas, whose family owns the property, told commissioners the property is “a great site for the city; it’s one (you) should probably own as an annex to your existing property out there. There’s a lot of other uses that you could have for that in addition to the spoil site for future city growth and projects.”

Stamas noted the family has plans halfway developed for an industrial use on the site, but would be willing to delay plans until the November referendum.

“We probably should have done this a long time ago,” commissioner Frank DiDonato said.

Meanwhile, commissioners approved allocating $452,758 to clean up the spoil site from material accumulated and dewatered during the recent Anclote dredging project.

Bob Robertson, project administration department director, explained the purpose of the project is to regrade the site, leaving both dredged materials and berm fill material on the property. The project also includes some minor clearing and grubbing, removal of rip-rap boulder stones to be stored at a nearby city facility, and sod installation.

The project will be funded, in part, from a grant from Pinellas County that is specifically intended to be used for site restoration, Robertson said.


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