Commissioner Maio the new chair of Peace River Authority board and latest winner of Chairman’s Award from GCBX

Maio provides update on Peace River Authority’s capacity to his colleagues on the Sarasota County Commission

Commissioner Alan Maio. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio recently was accorded two honors.

On Feb. 1, he was elected the new chair of the Board of Directors of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority. That evening, the Gulf Coast Builders Xchange (GCBX) presented him the Chairman’s Award. The latter recognizes “exemplary performance and service to the citizens of Sarasota County by a public official.”

The Peace River Authority election was held during the board’s last regular meeting, held in Arcadia. Along with Maio, the directors are Commissioners Christopher G. Constance of Charlotte County, Elton A. Langford of DeSoto County and Betsy Benac of Manatee County. The board comprises one representative from each county the Peace River Authority serves, its website points out. The authority operates as a regional partnership with its members “to ensure adequate water supplies for an ever-growing population of more than 900,000 people in our region,” its website says.

During the Sarasota County Commission’s regular session on Feb. 7, Maio provided one of his periodic updates on the Peace River Authority.

“We are not like most of the rest of the world and the United States,” he began. The four counties served by the authority are using only 70% of the authority’s capacity, he added. “Other parts of the state are not so fortunate.”

Increasing population growth in Florida has raised concerns about adequate water supplies in a number of communities.

Moreover, Maio told his colleagues, “We win water quality awards.”

During the Feb. 1 authority board meeting, he continued, the members directed staff to begin exploring the process for obtaining a new withdrawal permit, so the authority will have access to larger quantities of water. The current capacity, he continued, ranges between 11.8 billion and 12.6 billion gallons in two reservoirs and an aquifer storage and recovery system. “When we look to the future,” he said, “we’re in great shape for a long time into the future.” Still, he added, the authority board has begun planning to build a third reservoir on the same property where the other two are located. “And that will take us way beyond … the life expectancy of the younger commissioners that are sitting on this board. So we are in absolutely great shape, water-wise.”

The Peace River Authority features this information on its website banner. Image from the authority website

The Peace River Authority’s website explains, “Our water supply is withdrawn from the Peace River and treated at our main facility located on the Peace River in DeSoto County near Fort Ogden. This facility treats up to 51 million gallons per day (mgd).”

As for Maio’s recognition by GCBX: Paul Stehle of Climate Conditioning Co., chair of the organization’s board, presented the Chairman’s Award to Maio during GCBX’s 65th Annual Installation and Awards Dinner, held at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

The GCBX “represents a broad cross section of the building industry, including contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and others from affiliated industries,” its website explains. It is a “not-for-profit corporation operating as a trade organization under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors,” the website adds.