Zephyrhills presents draft budget, appropriations requests

The City of Zephyrhills has unveiled its proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20 — totaling more than $67 million. The $67,043,615 draft budget is based on a tentative tax rate of 6.35 mills previously approved by the Zephyrhills City Council. The draft budget was shared during an Aug. 12 council meeting. Based on the 6.35 millage rate, the total budget for the new fiscal year will be … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills considers fire department merger

After nearly 60 years of operation and tradition, the Zephyrhills Fire Department may soon be absorbed by Pasco County Fire Rescue. As funding and staffing issues mount within the city’s fire department, the Zephyrhills City Council on July 1 unanimously directed city staff to begin formal negotiations to consolidate the local agency with Pasco County Fire Rescue. If the merger occurs, … [Read more...]

Seeking to improve Zephyrhills’ code enforcement

The city of Zephyrhills is taking a hard look at its code enforcement policies — in an effort to maintain property values and make the community more desirable. According to City Manager Steve Spina, that starts with taking “a holistic view” on the issue. “When people come to visit, they need to drive through town and see a vibrant commercial business community, a vibrant downtown,” Spina … [Read more...]

Tennis center secures management

Plans to serve up more tennis opportunities for Zephryhills residents — while also creating a regional asset — have moved yet another step forward. The Zephyrhills City Council on Oct. 9 unanimously approved a 20-year contract with Tennis P.R.O. Florida, LLC, to operate and mange the proposed Zephyrhills Tennis Center. Tennis P.R.O. is owned by Pascal Collard, who was the director of … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills passes budget, water rate hikes

The budget for the city of Zephyrhills is now set. On Sept. 25, the Zephyrhills City Council unanimously approved a $63.3 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, for Oct. 1. A second reading of the millage and budget ordinances drew no public comment, during the regular meeting. Budget by department: City Council: $3.53 million Administration: $9.62 million Utility Billing: … [Read more...]

Water and sewer rates expected to rise in Zephyrhills

Zephyrhills residents could see an increase on their utility bills, beginning next year. City staff is recommending a 4-percent increase in water rates and an 8-percent increase in sewer rates for all customers each year for a five-year period, beginning Jan. 1. The Zephyrhills City Council voted unanimously for City Attorney Matthew Maggard to draft an ordinance regarding the proposed rate … [Read more...]

Retirement ‘bittersweet’ for Zephyrhills police chief

After 25 years of service, former Zephyrhills Police Chief David Shears is settling into retirement life. Throughout a respected career, Shears at some point worked every hour of the day, every day of the week and every day of the year. Now, he gets to relax. His last day in uniform was May 31. To Shears, stepping away from law enforcement altogether is “bittersweet.” “You enjoy … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills collects feedback from residents

Hundreds of Zephyrhills residents have voiced their sentiments on key emerging issues and opportunities facing the city — both now and in the future. And, several of their thoughts and ideas — collected via a community-wide survey and a series of roundtable discussions — will be used in crafting an update to the city’s 2030 comprehensive plan. Planning director Todd Vande berg and Tammy … [Read more...]

Design is final for new Zephyrhills City Hall

When it comes to a new City Hall, the Zephyrhills City Council agreed that “bigger is better.” Council members unanimously approved the design for the new City Hall complex on Jan. 23. The design calls for a two-story building of 19,615 square feet. The $6.2 million price tag is about $300,000 greater than the alternative option, which called for a structure of 18,170. Alan Knight, the … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills eyeing automated garbage collection

Automated garbage collection may soon be a reality in Zephyrhills. The city contracted with Kessler Consulting Inc. to perform an operational waste assessment and rate study for the city’s Sanitation Division. Don Ross, director of operations for Kessler, presented the findings to the Zephyrhills City Council on Oct. 10. Ross suggested the city — at some point — should consider moving … [Read more...]