In 2001, ECUA, DEP and International Paper were working an agreement for $92 million project to build a pipeline that would take IP’s wastewater away from Eleven Mile Creek and instead filter it through a wetlands area. ECUA only had to pay about 25% of the project which included a new wastewater treatment plant in Cantonment (which they never built).
Perkins and the board members almost rejected the deal because they didn’t want to pay $1.25 million to use IP land for the new plant. It took Adm. Jack Fetterman (who was then Chamber president), hundreds of community leaders and citizens, DEP and the FLorida Cabinet to pressure them to sign the deal.
Here was a quote about Perkins at the time: “Utility Board member Dale Perkins believes International Paper should waive the property lease fees. He said the partnership makes the company eligible for millions of dollars in low-interest loans, state and possibly federal grants. Board chairman George Watson and member Logan Fink supported Perkins’ motion to alter the agreement.”
They were willing to stop a deal that would stop 22 million gallons being dumped into Eleven Mile Creek a day over such a small amount of money.
Here’s the article in the West Florida Library database: ECUA blocks paper mill pipeline deal