Plantation Palms drainage project approved

Plantation Palms and Pasco County have agreed to a deal that will result in a $2.99 million drainage project — which will be paid for by residents in the Central Pasco community through the creation of a Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU).

As part of the deal, the county will stabilize the north ditch, with a project that’s approximately 1,700 feet long.

Plans have been prepared by the county’s consultant — Coastal Design Consultants — at the county’s expense, and the estimated cost for the project, including a 10 percent contingency, is $2,986,000.

The construction costs will be covered through annual payments on property tax bills of the residences of the 821 members of Plantation Palms Homeowners Association Inc.

The project will be paid for over a period of 30 years, with an interest rate set at 3 percent, which results in an annual payment per member of $195.32, according to county documents.

However, the document also notes that the assessments will be finalized before September 2019.

The county also notes that Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano has said his office will waive the normal 2 percent administrative cost for projects of this type.

The homeowners association owns the ditch, but needs the county’s help to fund the project.

The bids are already out, advertised and will be closed on Dec. 14.

The county attempted to obtain funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the project, but was unsuccessful.

Jim Hammond, president of the Plantation Palms Homeowners Association, said “The HOA board unanimously supports an MSBU being formed, as do a majority of our homeowners.”

Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore was pleased to see the issue resolved.

He praised the county’s staff and the HOA for working out a solution.

Moore said the county should continue to seek assistance on costs form SWFMD.

Commissioner Jack Mariano agreed: “I think we should continue to go after that SWFMD funding, or FEMA funding, whatever it would be.”

The board voted 5-0 to support the project and the creation of the MSBU to pay for construction.

Published December 5, 2018

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