11/15/17 Local Government
Pasco commissioners are about to be asked their definition of rural-agricultural lifestyle.
Is it a cluster of homes on a multi-acre lots owned and occupied by gentlemen farmers and horse enthusiasts where the former serenity might be interrupted by an occasional mooing cow?
Or is it blasts from subterranean explosions, the mechanical racket of crushing limestone and the rumble of dump trucks barreling down a two-lane road in the name of capitalism?...
NEW PORT RICHEY — Sara Melucci is a bit of a nomad.
In the less than two years she and her husband have owned Gulf Coast Heating & Cooling, she has worked from a former city-owned business incubator in New Port Richey, her home in Spring Hill, the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTstart incubator in Dade City and now from the PEDC's new entrepreneur center on U.S. 19 in west Pasco....
WESLEY CHAPEL – Spring break could mean a new state-of-the-art water amenity for swimmers, paddle boarders and sunbathers in central Pasco County.
The nation's first Crystal Lagoon is scheduled to open in early spring 2018 in the Epperson development in Wesley Chapel, Metro Development Group announced Tuesday morning.
The revelation came as Metro officials provided journalists with a tour of the 7.5-acre man-made lagoon that already contained the initial pockets of what eventually will be 16 million gallons of purified water....
11/09/17 Local Government
DADE CITY — Pasco's 18-year ban on new billboards officially is over, with Clear Channel Outdoors planning to install four digital advertising boards across the county.
In an agreement approved unanimously Tuesday by county commissioners, the company will take down 28 static billboards in exchange for the four high-tech digital light-emitting diode billboards, which rotate advertising messages....
11/08/17 Economic Development
WESLEY CHAPEL — It is a sign Viggo Nielsen has been anxious to see for more than a year. First came the fresh coat of paint on the building's exterior, then the blue lettering on the white banner facing motorists on the Suncoast Parkway: "Now hiring.''
Nielsen, general manager of Mettler Toledo Safeline, said the company, which manufactures food safety equipment, plans to hire 120 people for its new manufacturing plant near the parkway and State Road 54 in Lutz. That is in addition to the hundreds of positions relocating from Hillsborough County and 50 more coming from Ithaca, N.Y., where Mettler Toledo is closing its operations and consolidating into the new 250,000-square-foot building in Pasco County....
11/08/17 Local Government
An anti-corruption movement is starting in Dade City, but its proponents don't envision an ending until governments for all six cities and Pasco County are on board.
"We can all stand against corruption,'' said Elise Mysles of Land O'Lakes, the leader of the recently organized Represent Pasco citizens group. "It doesn't matter which side of the fence you are on. Anti-corruption is an American value we can all stand behind.''...
11/08/17 Local Government
LAND O'LAKES — They came armed with questions, but left without answers to the biggest unknowns.
How much will this cost?
And who's going to pay?
More than 145 people filled a Land O'Lakes Community Center meeting room Saturday afternoon to try to find out how Pasco County might repair a massive sinkhole in the Lake Padgett Estates neighborhood. The cavity, originally estimated at 230 feet wide and 50 feet deep, swallowed two homes and left seven more uninhabitable after it opened July 14 on Ocean Pines Drive....
LAND O'LAKES — Twenty-one months ago, the Florida Department of Transportation said it was hitting the brakes on planning improvements at a traffic-clogged intersection in central Pasco.
Instead, the DOT said it would await recommendations from Pasco County and a citizens task force before advancing a proposed fix for the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 54. The DOT pause, at the county's request, came after public objections to a planned flyover elevating SR 54 above north-south traffic on U.S. 41....
11/01/17 Local Government
Pasco County's parks need a new historical marker.
It could serve as an appropriate reminder of the not-so-distant past as the county embarks on a public information campaign for a presumed 2018 voter referendum on paying for parks and recreation.
The marker's message could be clear and concise: Don't do this again.
There will be people with long memories who will be asked to support the idea of a new tax district for parks and recreation spending, and perhaps separate taxes for libraries and public safety, too. Some of those people will reside in Pasco's six cities, and some of them, undoubtedly, will not look favorably on the county's request....
10/25/17 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — A plan to dredge a dozen west Pasco canals at an estimated cost of up to $13.5 million drew a near unanimous response Tuesday from three west-side county commissioners: Why isn't the plan bigger?
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey wondered why the project list, devised by Dewberry Consultants LLC, excluded residential canals near Gulf Harbors and the Bailee's Bluff neighborhood in Holiday, as well as the Anclote River....
DADE CITY — The Pasco County Fair Association is used to being a food source. But the typical corn dogs and sugar-coated funnel cakes will be replaced next month with debit cards allowing people to make their own culinary selections at retail stores.
The fairgrounds, on State Road 52 outside Dade City, is the site of a planned Food for Florida distribution program Nov. 5 to 8 for people affected by Hurricane Irma....
10/24/17 Local Government
DADE CITY — Faced with growing costs amid an expected voter-endorsed tax cut, Pasco County is considering changing the way it pays for parks, libraries and public safety.
It could result in 2018 voter referendums to create three new countywide tax districts, in addition to the existing tax unit that finances the Pasco fire department.
If voters agree, the new districts, with separate tax rates, would absorb costs now paid out of the county's general fund, freeing up money for future law enforcement and other government operational expenses. The referendums are not required by law, but a commission majority said they wanted voters to have their say....
10/19/17 Local Government
NEW PORT RICHEY — The cost of dredging a dozen coastal canals serving seven west Pasco communities could reach nearly $13.5 million, according to a consultant's report.
The study from Dewberry in Tampa recommends the county complete 12 individual projects in Sea Pines, Hudson, Sea Ranch, Pleasure Isles, Gulf Harbors, Westport and Driftwood to increase canal depths to 5 feet.
Spread among the benefiting property owners, the plan could mean new municipal service units charging an annual assessment of $177 for the next 15 years. The seven neighborhoods include nearly 4,900 individual parcels, ranging from the 1,334 homes in Gulf Harbors to just 126 lots in Driftwood....
The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.
At least it is supposed to be.
There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.
Commissioners added a new category, economic development, eight years later when voters overwhelmingly renewed the tax for another decade....
10/17/17 Local Government
DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.
Instead, the county and the Florida Department of Children and Families searched Tuesday for an alternative site and date and eventually settled on Nov. 5-8 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, on State Road 52, outside Dade City....