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CRYSTAL RIVER — After two previous stints on the Crystal River City Council, Robert Holmes is ready for a third.
“A lot of people asked me to do it, and since I was one of those who helped hire (City Manager) Andy Houston, I would like to be around to guarantee that he has his seat,” Holmes told the Chronicle Editorial Board via telephone.
He thinks Houston has done an excellent job as the city manager.
Holmes answered queries about a variety of issues including the Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) proposed boardwalk project on the city’s bay front, the sewer expansion near Fort Island Trail and the Three Sisters Springs property.
Holmes said one of his cornerstone issues is doing more about the state of stormwater drainage in the city. He believes a better drainage system would help mitigate pollution.
“We have to find a way to slow down that water before it gets to King’s Bay,” Holmes said.
Holmes said he is supportive of the CRA plans for a bayfront boardwalk, but should “be accommodating to the business owners.”
Holmes, who works for Progress Energy and was out of state for training when interviewed, said in a letter to the CRA board he would like to see some of the following:
* The CRA should go ahead with construction of the esplanade in the portions where business owners and the city are on the same page.
* Assist property owners with dock permits for loss of use.
* Keep the height of the structure as low as possible.
Holmes said temporary mooring for business customers and owners should not be discouraged.
Holmes said while he doesn’t like that the Three Sisters Springs property is off the tax rolls, he is supportive of its preservation.
“I wish the city would take more of an ownership of it though,” he said.
Holmes began his first four-year term on the council in 1986 then began another in 2002..
He said he would support an overpass idea to bridge the downtown core, which is divided by U.S. 19.
Holmes said he likes the CRA as it is currently constituted — with council members serving as the agency — because “accountability was not there” with the previous board.
He thinks the sewer plan under way in the Fort Island Trail area is the right thing to do and the city should fight any legal challenges.
With regard to city-county relations, Holmes said he doesn’t know if anything can be done about it.
“I think it is kind of hanging out by itself,” he said.
* WHAT: Crystal River City Council, Seat 5.
* WHO: Robert Holmes and Keith Shewbart — nonpartisan.
* TERM: Four years.
* COVERS: Incorporated Crystal River, Precinct 105.
* PAY: $6,328
* ON THE BALLOT: Nov. 6 election.