Protection for freshwater springs makes progress

Gov. Ron DeSantis proclaimed April as Springs Protection Awareness Month, recognizing springs as a natural resource unique to Florida. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) celebrated the month in recognition of the environmental, recreational and economic importance of Florida’s 900 iconic freshwater springs. “Springs are vital to the environment, economy, citizens and … [Read more...]

See our state parks, up close, naturally

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has announced the redesign of the Florida State Parks website. In partnership with Visit Florida, the new parks website features tools and information that will be helpful to the state’s visitors. It also promotes the Florida Park Service, providing visitors with detailed information about all 175 state parks, trails and historic … [Read more...]

Housing demand on rise in Florida, Pasco

Construction sites along Pasco County’s major corridors are part of everyday landscape. Bulldozers clear land and work crews move in with hammer and nails. Pasco is awash in new single-family homes under construction, and to a lesser degree, apartment complexes. But, market trends show that the supply of new homes is lagging behind demand. That’s a change from the housing bubble that … [Read more...]

Pasco County considers permits for roofs on boat docks

Pasco County commissioners are looking to relax the county’s ban on roofs over boat docks and boat lifts. At an Aug. 22 workshop, they directed county staff members to draft an ordinance that would allow the roofs to be permitted, with restrictions. For instance, the roofs must not block scenic views of the water. Roofs would not be allowed along canals due to their narrow widths. “If … [Read more...]

Downtown Dade City to get flood relief

Puddle jumping in downtown Dade City is often a rainy day sport especially along Seventh Street, the spine of downtown’s business district. Sidewalks can quickly overflow, forcing pedestrians to hunt for spots less than ankle deep to cross from one side of the street to the other. Other downtown streets, including Meridian, Pasco and Live Oak avenues, also see the waters rise. But, $1.4 … [Read more...]

Recycling center plans to move

Land O' Lakes Recycling is in hot water with a state regulatory agency for failing to meet an Oct. 7 deadline to build a retention pond or shut down its business. Staff members of the Southwest Florida Water Management District referred the matter to the agency's Office of General Counsel on Oct. 18 "because corrective actions have not been taken at this site," according to an email from the … [Read more...]

Cities to have backup water

A project to link the water systems of Zephyrhills and Dade City is headed to construction, most likely by this summer. The Zephyrhills City Council, on May 10, approved a contract for about $1.7 million with Suncoast Development of Pinellas County. Work can begin after the Florida Department of Transportation completes its resurfacing and trails project on U.S. 301, which could happen … [Read more...]

Pasco County fills leadership jobs

New hires will step into leadership roles at three Pasco County departments. Pasco County commissioners approved the hiring choices at their Dec. 1 meeting in New Port Richey. Brian Head, a former chief deputy with the Pasco County Sheriff's office, will be assistant county administrator for public safety and administration. He served 12 years with the sheriff's office before retiring in … [Read more...]

Dade City and Zephyrhills pool their water

Zephyrhills and Dade City will connect their water systems as a hedge against emergencies and future development along U.S. 301, the highway that runs between them. City commissioners in both cities recently approved a 25-year interlocal agreement to turn their spigots on if either city is in need. Each city would pay whatever the going rate is at the time. The first step is installing about … [Read more...]

Hillsborough, Pasco among biggest recyclers

Hillsborough County received some fresh news about its effort to save the environment: The county is one of the biggest recyclers in the state. And Pasco County isn't far behind. A new report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection showed Hillsborough had a combined total recycling rate of 73 percent in 2013, when incorporating renewable energy credits from waste-to-energy … [Read more...]