Pasco projects in new state budget

Florida’s $91.5 billion budget, approved by the Florida Legislature, includes funding for just two of the projects that Pasco County requested. Legislators approved $1 million for the Land O’ Lakes U.S. 41 beautification project, and $1 million to improve the waterfront at Miller’s Bayou. Dade City received $5 million for the extension of Morningside Drive. While legislators approved the … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel plays host to disabled hockey festival

More than 1,000 athletes representing more than 100 teams from dozens of states recently converged on Wesley Chapel, testing their mettle in the world’s largest indoor disabled ice sporting event. AdventHealth Center Ice played host to the 15th annual USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival, marking the second straight year the event has called home the multi-rink Wesley Chapel hockey … [Read more...]

Ridge Road project to open in 2020?

A portion of the Ridge Road Extension — a project Pasco County officials have wanted for 20 years — could open in time for the beginning of the 2020 school year. The Pasco County Commission heard an update on the project during its April 8 meeting in Dade City. The proposed Ridge Road Extension spans  7.6 miles, reaching from Moon Road to U.S. 41, in Land O’ Lakes. Margaret Smith, the … [Read more...]

Pasco’s tourism boosts county’s economy

An analysis by Downs & St. Germain Research Inc., consultants to Pasco County, reveals that 965,000 tourists visited Pasco County during 2018, with a $615 million impact on the county’s economy. Downs & St. Germain Research conducted the county’s first-ever visitor tracking study. They completed face-to-face, phone and online surveys with Pasco County visitors. As a result, the … [Read more...]

Pasco readies for big building program

Voter approval of four general obligation bond issues in November has set the stage for a major building program in Pasco County. The bond revenues will go to expand the Pasco County Detention Center; to update and expand fire rescue facilities; to upgrade libraries; and, to spruce up and improve park and recreational facilities. Pasco County staff members briefed commissioners on the timing … [Read more...]

Pasco County tourism rebrands as ‘Florida’s Sports Coast’

Pasco County now wants to be known as “Florida’s Sports Coast.” The announcement — anticipated for months — was made official at a March 7 brand launch ceremony held at Tampa International Airport. The rebrand is part of an ongoing effort for the county’s tourism office, Visit Pasco, to expand its footprint as a sports and recreation destination. Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore … [Read more...]

Pasco property tax rate expected to stay the same in 2020

Pasco County’s tax rate is expected to stay the same in 2020, as new development continues to expand the county’s tax base. That assessment came during a Pasco County Commission workshop to discuss the preliminary estimates for the 2020 budget. The county is projecting a 9.5 percent increase in assessed values, said Robert Goehig, budget director in the county’s Office of Management and … [Read more...]

Pasco may lift exclusion on dock roofs on freshwater lakes

When Joe Steffens gazes from his backyard out onto Bell Lake, he can easily view the private  lake’s water — and his neighbor’s boat docks, complete with roofs — that he built himself. But, his dock doesn’t have a roof. And, even if he wanted to put one on, he wouldn’t be allowed to under current Pasco County regulations. Steffens, who is a marine contractor, has been pushing for a … [Read more...]

Efforts resurface in quest to widen Old Pasco Road

The Long Range Transportation Plan now includes a project to widen a 7-mile stretch of Old Pasco Road, from State Road 52 to County Road 54, which is also known as Wesley Chapel Boulevard. The widening had been included in the long-range plan as far back as 2014, but was subsequently dropped. Now, it’s back in. The Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization board unanimously approved … [Read more...]

Pasco supports legalizing hemp as a crop

The Pasco County Commission has unanimously approved a resolution backing the legal cultivation of hemp in Florida. The issue came up for discussion at the board’s Jan. 8 meeting, but was delayed for two weeks to give Commission Chairman Ron Oakley the chance to learn more about the issue. When Commissioner Jack Mariano brought up the issue again, commissioners quickly approved it. Board … [Read more...]