Pasco County health clinics in Zephyrhills and Land O’ Lakes will close and their services moved to a professional office building in Wesley Chapel.
The Pasco County Tax Collector’s office is expected to take over the former building used by the Land O’ Lakes clinic.
County officials then plan to use the tax collector’s old space for County Development Services, which includes its permitting office.
The new consolidated clinic in Wesley Chapel, at 33845 State Road 54, will open as of Feb. 15, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County.
“The move will provide a broader range of services in the community,” according to the news release.
Services provided by the county health department clinics include family planning, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, immunizations, child and adult health services, and a nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
The Zephyrhills clinic currently operates in a trailer at 4717 Airport Road. The Land O’ Lakes clinic, at 4135 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., discontinued most of its health care services in late 2015.
The only program still operating at the site is WIC. County officials reassigned staff members to other clinics in New Port Richey, Dade City and Zephyrhills.
No jobs will be lost in the current consolidation, said Angela Babson, spokeswoman for the Pasco County health department.
The new clinic will be an upgrade to a better facility, she added.
It also is located on a bus line, and is near U.S. 301 and Interstate 75.
Health department data showed that about 1,600 people received clinical services from the Zephyrhills’ location in the past year. About 5,400 participated in WIC.
In Land O’ Lakes, about 5,600 people received WIC services.
Pasco County commissioners approved the purchase of the new clinic site – the Brookfield Professional Center – from Pilot Bank in October 2016, at a cost of about $422,000. They also agreed to spend about $235,000 to remodel the building, which has three lobbies, four bathrooms, three break rooms and multiple offices, according to county records.
According to information given to county commissioners, the majority of clients seen at the Zephyrhills and Land O’ Lakes clinics were from Lutz and the Wesley Chapel area.
The vacated Land O’ Lakes clinic won’t go unused.
Within the year, employees at the tax collector’s office anticipate moving one door over from their current office in the David “Hap” Clark Jr. building, at 4111 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano said the clinic building will be gutted and remodeled for about $1.2 million. Funding will come from the tax collector’s budget, not the county, Fasano said.
Renovations are expected to take about seven months, with an opening in October or November.
“It is very much needed,” Fasano said. “Our Land O’ Lakes office continues to see more clients from one month to the other, as the area grows.”
New homes, new buildings and new businesses are all in the mix, he said.
The Land O’Lakes’ office is the second busiest in Pasco after the New Port Richey office at 4720 U.S. 19.
According to data from the tax collector’s office, hundreds of customers are served daily at the Land O’ Lakes office. At times, people wait in long lines, spilling onto the sidewalk outside.
Fasano cited data showing that on Jan. 3, the office had 763 customers. On other dates in early January, customers ranged from more than 560 to more than 600 on a single day.
Fasano said Pasco is the only county in the state to open its tax collector’s offices for business half a day on Saturdays. On Jan. 7, records showed that 275 people stopped by the Land O’ Lakes office.
“We definitely need a bigger office to accommodate our Land O’ Lakes service area,” Fasano said. “This will do that.”
Published January 18, 2017