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Swiftmud backs down from move of headquarters to Tampa from Brooksville

Facing pressure from government and civic leaders in Hernando County, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, also known as Swiftmud, has decided to drop its effort to move its district headquarters from Brooksville to Tampa.

In a memo to Swiftmud employees on Friday, executive director Robert Beltran wrote: "Local officials and community leaders made clear the importance they place on the Brooksville campus, its value to the community and the proud heritage associated with the District's history. The District also received letters and resolutions from local governments and members of the community opposing the relocation of the District's headquarters.''

Beltran noted that the rest of the business plan that suggested the headquarters move had been upheld by Swiftmud's governing board, but he said keeping the headquarters in Brooksville would not hinder the agency from its purpose.

"Staff agrees the District can continue to meet its priorities and core mission to manage water and related natural resources to ensure their continued availability while maximizing the benefits to the public,'' he wrote. "Therefore, staff is recommending that the Board take no further action on this issue.''

Friday's announcement does not affect any staffing decisions, neither does it mean that regulatory and other officials moved to Tampa from Brooksville will return.