Pasco looks to become sports tourism destination

Pasco County is putting its sports and recreation offerings front and center, in a strategy aimed at boosting tourism. Visit Pasco — the county’s tourism arm — is rebranding its slogan to “Florida’s Sports Coast.” The announcement came at the second annual East Pasco Economic Development Summit. Adam Thomas, who oversees Pasco’s tourism efforts, said the new moniker shows the county is … [Read more...]

Pasco commissioners seek way to stop panhandlers

They already have an ordinance on the books that addresses panhandlers, and another one that addresses trespassing. But, the Pasco County Commission still hasn’t found an effective way to put a stop to panhandling. “We have a panhandling ordinance in place. We write a lot of tickets to all of the people that are doing the panhandling. One gentleman has 240 tickets,” Commissioner Jack Mariano … [Read more...]

Carballa appointed assistant county administrator

The Pasco County Commission has confirmed the appointment of Mike Carballa to serve as the assistant county administrator for public infrastructure. Carballa’s confirmation became effective on Oct. 14. County Administrator Dan Biles recommended Carballa for the position after a nationwide search, which attracted more than 40 applicants. Carballa joined the county’s staff in April 2014 as … [Read more...]

Four bond issues on Pasco ballot

When Pasco County voters go to the polls in November, they will do more than choose their elected leaders. They also will decide if they want to chip in to expand the county’s jail, improve its parks and recreation, upgrade its fire rescue services and enhance its libraries. In other words, the county wants voters to agree to tax themselves by passing four separate general obligation bonds … [Read more...]

Pasco tax revenues are up this year

Rising property values in Pasco County could provide about $11 million in increased revenues. That’s a bigger windfall than the $10.5 million initially projected. That extra cash – about $650,000 - would play a key role in helping to close a $3.3 million gap in funding requests for 2019 from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Pasco County expected to receive final revenue data by July 1 … [Read more...]

Delay appears likely on Ridge Road extension permit

Pasco County officials were hoping for a decision on a permit, and a construction start for the proposed Ridge Road extension by winter 2018. Instead, a revised schedule provided to the United States Army Corps of Engineers projects the anticipated permit decision in late February 2019. Despite the revised time frame, Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles remains hopeful of a quicker … [Read more...]

Budget talks look at next two years

As the Pasco County Commission contemplates the county’s budget for fiscal year 2019, it’s also thinking about the budget for 2020. Commissioners are looking ahead, because they know that a referendum on the November ballot could have a sizable impact on the county’s budget. Voters will decide on Nov. 8 whether to expand homestead exemptions by $25,000. If the referendum passes, Pasco County … [Read more...]

Rallying to protect the environment

Opponents of the Ridge Road extension are digging in for a battle with Pasco, and if need be, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, over a road that would cut through a portion of the Serenova Preserve. About 75 people showed up in hiking clothes on Feb. 16, to walk trails at the Serenova Tract, at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. It was a Facebook-promoted rally to bring attention … [Read more...]

Pasco crafting conservative 2019 budget

It’s still early in 2018, but Pasco County is taking the first steps toward planning its fiscal year budget for 2019. Pasco County officials are looking to hold the line on expenses, even as property values are expected to increase between 7 percent and 8 percent. Essentially, they want a flat balanced budget that has no increase in the millage rate. The Pasco County Commission … [Read more...]

Bond issue for jail and fire rescue expansions?

Pasco County commissioners are considering a possible referendum to see voter approval for a 30-year bond issue that would pay for a jail expansion, four new fire stations, and the expansion of five existing fire stations. The $185 million bond issue, earmarked for public safety, would be placed before voters on the November ballot. County commissioners got preliminary data on the bond at a … [Read more...]