Pasco County moves to speed up demolitions

Pasco County has new rules aimed at speeding up the demolition of blighted, and unsafe commercial buildings. The Pasco County Commission initially agreed in August to amend an existing ordinance to make the process faster, after Kristi Sims, a senior assistant county attorney, presented the ordinance. The final ordinance, approved by commissioners on Sept. 26 in New Port Richey, requires … [Read more...]

Labor shortage delays debris removal

Those piles of Hurricane Irma debris could be sitting near homes for as long as a couple of months, Pasco County officials have said. That’s because there’s a shortage of work crews. Officials hope that residents will be patient, as the county struggles to pull together enough work crews. Pasco County Utilities, Solid Waste and Resources Recovery Department set the start of debris … [Read more...]

Pasco County approves 2018 budget

Pasco County commissioners approved a $1.3 billion budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1. The budget is slightly less than the 2017 budget, but still has new expenditures for parks, boat ramps and the proposed Ridge Road extension. County commissioners had a final public hearing, and vote, on the new budget on Sept. 26 in New Port Richey. There will be no change in the … [Read more...]

Pasco County boosts its stormwater fee

Pasco County residents will be paying a higher stormwater fee, following a Sept. 19 vote by Pasco County commissioners to increase the rate. Beginning in 2018, the annual fee will increase from $57 to $95 — a 67 percent increase. A previous increase approved two years ago added $10 to the fee, raising the rate from $47 to $57. Commissioners were divided over raising the fee during two … [Read more...]

Two museums receive money for special projects

Two museums will receive a financial boost in Pasco County’s fiscal year 2018 budget. The Pasco County Commission has agreed to give $25,000 each to the West Pasco Historical Society Museum and Library in New Port Richey and the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village in Dade City. The action came at the commission’s Aug. 29 meeting in Dade City. The infusion of cash to the nonprofits stemmed … [Read more...]

More details sought in State Road 54/56 design debate

Task force members want more information before reaching conclusions on future road designs aimed at easing traffic congestion along the State Road 54 and State Road 56 corridor. The task force met Aug. 24 in a public meeting to review 11 road alternatives, and a no build option. Task force members are expected to whittle their road list to three or four plus the no build option. Just … [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...]

Changes afoot, as school bells ring in a new year

School bells are summoning students back to classes in Hillsborough and Pasco counties — and some students will be attending classes on entirely new campuses. Sunlake Academy of Math and Science, a new public charter school in Hillsborough County, begins its inaugural school year on Aug. 10. It is located at 18681 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz. Meanwhile, Pasco County is opening Bexley … [Read more...]

Task Force meets on vision for State Road 54/56

A discussion on transportation solutions on the State Road 54/56 corridor will begin anew on Aug. 24, with the second in a series of meetings by the Vision 54/56 Task Force. The 17-member, volunteer task force had an organizational meeting in April. The study by the task force members will consider practical solutions to easing congestion, and promoting greater safety and mobility on a … [Read more...]

Cleanup set to begin on massive sinkhole

Barring unforeseen developments, cleanup is expected to begin this week on the massive sinkhole that recently swallowed two homes in the Lake Padgett community of Land O’ Lakes. As of July 20, Pasco County was entering the final stages of securing bids from contractors for debris removal at the sinkhole site, which now measures 235 feet wide and approximately 50 feet deep — believed to be the … [Read more...]