Editor: Our forward-thinking county leaders purchased the Cross Bar land in 1976 and the Al Bar land in 1990 to ensure that the residents of Pinellas County would always and forever have an independent source of drinking water.
These lands are located in Pasco County on top of the very rich Floridian aquifer. Recently some have suggested selling these lands in exchange for capital that would go into our general fund. I strongly reject the notion that we should sell such a valuable asset for a one-time injection of cash into our budget.
As most of you know, I have voted twice to keep these lands in the hands of their rightful owners, the Pinellas County taxpayers. The land is paid for and makes a profit from the sale of pine needles and timber harvested on site. We simply do not know what the future will bring in regards to water availability.
As leaders, it is imperative that we prioritize our communityís needs, and fresh drinking water must be looked at with the upmost importance.
My office has, and continues to, receive telephone calls, letters and emails urging us to keep these important lands. I intend to do everything in my power to protect this most valuable asset. I would appreciate your readers emailing all the county commissioners and letting them know they do not want to sell this land!
John Morroni Pinellas County commissioner Treasure Island