Reliving history through the pages of the South Lake Press - South Lake Press: Community

Reliving history through the pages of the South Lake Press

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 6:00 am

ATTEMPTS TO SAVE

LAKE APOPKA

Attorneys for the St. Johns River Water Management District have filed suit in circuit court in an attempt to end illegal agricultural discharges into Lake Apopka. The suits were filed June 1 against A. Duda and Sons in Lake County Circuit Court and against the Zellwood Drainage District in Orange County Circuit Court.

The suits seek permanent injunctions to stop the non-permitted discharge of agricultural wastes into Lake Apopka. In 1982, the Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) issued a temporary operating permit for the farmers’ discharges, but this permit expired April 1, 1987. The farmers have not received additional permits; therefore have been discharging in violation of state law.

The suits filed also ask for up to $10,000 per day in civil penalties assessed from April 2, 1987 until the matter is resolved. Further, the District is asking for damages to cover the cost of correcting harm done to Lake Apopka by the non-permitted discharges.

Soon after an agreement was reached between St. Johns River Water Management District and A. Duda and Sons, which currently farms over 6,000 acres of land on Lake Apopka’s north shore. St. Johns Executive Director Henry Dean said, “Although this consent order required a degree of compromise on both sides, we are certain it will result in a substantial reduction of agricultural discharges in just a few years. We see a reduction of 80-90 percent of the nutrients Duda now pumps into the lake as a preferable alternative to five years of court litigation.”

The consent order gave Duda two years to construct a 256-acre pond to retain water on site rather than discharging it into Lake Apopka. Duda must then maximize the use of this stored water to meet its irrigation needs.

After the two-year construction period, Duda will be issued a five-year temporary operating permit for the system.

INDUSTRIAL PARK

A new industrial park is coming to the Florida Turnpike-U.S. Highway 27 area. Novelty Crystal, located on the east side of 27, with access onto O’Brien Road, is zoned industrial. Novelty Crystal will build a 60,000-square-foot building on 30 acres of the 192 acres they have purchased for expansion of other manufacturing and distribution companies in the Crystal Lake Industrial Park.

Most of the original 20-25 employees will be unskilled labor. The plant will run in three shifts. Novelty Crystal has three product lines, which include retail (giftware and housewares,) food service equipment and lamp and lighting components. A location in Elmhurst, N.Y. will be moved here in two-three years, at which time employment is estimated to be 100.

NEWS OF NOTE

Clermont Garden Club’s new officers will be: Mrs. David Peterson, president; Mrs. Robert Battersby, vice president; Mrs. William Hennessey, second vice president; Mrs. Lloyd Evans, recording secretary; Mrs. John Reynolds, corresponding secretary, and Mrs. Michael Conley, treasurer.

Lake County School Board recognized media specialists James Dawkins of Clermont Junior High and Margaret Kirwan, Clermont Elementary, for automating their media centers.

Clermont High School’s ace right-hander Walter Wilkerson signed a professional baseball contract with the San Diego Padres.

Seasonal boat ramp passes for the Jaycee Beach boat ramp are available at Clermont City Hall for $20 during regular business hours.

Stacy Spradlin won the title of Victorian Pageant at Orlando’s Ramada Inn. She had the pageant’s highest scores and won a four-foot trophy, plus a $225 beauty entry fee paid to the national finals. She also won the talent competition and was second runner-up in sportswear. A junior at Clermont High School, Stacy thanks her supporters and sponsors, Clermont Chamber Executive Director Margaret Tyndal, Peoples State Bank of Clermont and Olivenbaum Insurance Agency.

Virginia R. Vatev is among 101 graduating medical students to be honored at a student recognition ceremony at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. She will begin a residency appointment in medicine at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio. Virginia is the daughter of Dr. Borislav and Radka Vatev of Clermont.

Domino’s Pizza opened in Clermont.

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