Plantation Palms celebrates North Canal project completion

Plantation Palms had a ribbon cutting last week to celebrate the completion of a project to address an erosion problem in the community.

The $2.99 million project — approximately 1,700 feet long — involved stabilizing the community’s North Canal. The work included installing Gabion baskets along the ditch sides, and a rip-rap lining the bottom, according to a Pasco County document.

A project to address erosion concerns has been completed in the Plantation Palms community in Land O’ Lakes. (B.C. Manion)

The community worked with the county to establish the Municipal Service Benefits Unit to pay for the project. 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 homeowners association owns the ditch, but needed the county’s help to fund the project.

At the ribbon cutting, Jim Hammond, president of the Plantation Palms Homeowners Association, said “I’m proud of the fact that in the last three years, the golf course is open, we’ve solved an enormous problem in the North Canal — and both of these were huge projects, that had a major impact on our community.”

“Both these success stories improved our safety, financial well-being and property values.

The project “saved our community substantial future costs and liability,” Hammond said.

“Both of these were collaborative efforts,” Hammond said. “We accomplished what’s best for 821 homeowners.

“We’ll forever be grateful to Pasco County, who partnered with us to make all of this happen,” Hammond added.

A celebration was held in Plantation Palms to mark the completion of a $2.99 million project aimed at improving safety and reducing potential liability. The project was done through a partnership between the community and Pasco County.

He also expressed gratitude to Bio-Mass Tech, the construction company; Coastal Design Engineering; the Southwest Florida Water Management District; the Plantation Palms Homeowner Association’s board; the association’s attorney; and county staff for their efforts in bringing the North Canal project to fruition.

Hammond handed out a number of awards, too.

In one case, he declared Amanda Haulk, the Plantation Palms Homeowner of the Year. She lives adjacent to the improvement project.

“She had a ringside seat for all of the construction,” Hammond said.

“Right now, it looks all cleaned up. For those that were here during the construction, this whole area was mounded with dirt and stone, and trucks all over the place.

“She had some challenges. They cut off the water multiple times. They cut off the electricity multiple times. They cut off the cable box a couple of times. And, you can’t see it now, but most of her pool pump and gear alongside the garage were hanging over the side of the construction site.

“And yet, she stuck it out. She was a real champ,” Hammond said.

Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore also was among the award recipients.

Hammond said: “Commissioner Moore was instrumental in getting our golf club open. We went to him when we needed Collier Parkway resurfaced. He was there when we needed the MSBU approved. He was there again when we needed construction contracts awarded. He’s been there for us.”

Moore said Hammond should be receiving an award.

“Jim, you’ve just been instrumental in everything that happens here at Plantation Palms,” Moore said.

The commission chairman also complimented Bill Place, for the progress that’s been made at Plantation Palms Golf Course.

“I know the golf course (reopening) was obviously a big part in helping the property values out,” Moore said.

Plantation Palms closed in 2014 as MJS Golf Group – the previous owner – struggled to survive recurring financial losses and debts.

A “Bring Back Our Course” campaign, led by Hammond, sought to save the course, but struggled to find a potential buyer with a viable financial plan.

Place, and his wife Su Lee, bought the course in May 2016 in a short sale approved by the federal government.

Describing Plantation Palms as an “amazing community,” Moore said he’s pleased to see it continue to progress.

Pasco Commissioner Jack Mariano also was there to celebrate the completion of the canal project. He, too, offered complimentary remarks about the golf course.

Published December 11, 2019

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