The Pasco County Commission wants to take another look at whether the county should grant mobility fee credits for hotel rooms.
The issue came up during the county board’s May 9 meeting, during a more general discussion of the county’s transportation needs.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey reminded her colleagues: “When we give mobility fee credits, we take away from our ability to build some of our road network.”
She said she questioned the need for the mobility fee credits for hotels when the county was considering its mobility fee schedule in the past and she thinks it’s time for the board to take another look at the issue.
“We’re giving away, was it $4- or $5,000 per hotel room, on mobility fee credits.
“I think that’s a lot,” Starkey said.
“I think we may need to revisit these credits we’re handing out because I think that the economy is here and people are building here, and I don’t think we need to be giving away the store,” she said.
The money the county is using to offer incentives could be used to pay for local transportation projects, the commissioner continued.
Commissioner Ron Oakley agrees that it is a good time to take another look at the issue.
Commissioner Seth Weightman agreed.
“Pasco is on the map. People are coming here,” Weightman said. “I think it’s time that we tightened up a bit and really understand these incentive packages we’ve been giving.
“We’re competitive now.”
Commission Chairman Jack Mariano was less enthusiastic.
He’s concerned about losing the economic impact created by the visitors that stay in the area’s hotels.
Hotel guests spend money in the community, while creating no impact on schools and little impact on other services, Mariano said.
“They bring money to the area,” the board chairman said.
Starkey suggested: Let’s have a workshop on this.”
There wasn’t a vote to schedule a workshop, but it appears there’s enough interest on the board’s part to make it happen.
In other action, the board:
- Approved 2,300 dwelling units and 20,000 square feet of commercial on 931 acres in the Depue East Master-Planned Unit Development (MPUD). The project is within Village L and M, in the Villages of Pasadena Hills, a special planning area in the eastern part of the county. The site abuts the Watergrass MPUD, Oak Creek MPUD and Avalon Park MPUD.
- Approved interlocal agreements for Animal Control Services for each of the six municipalities in Pasco County to provide various services. These agreements had existed in the past but required updating.
- Approved a task order in the amount of $152,119.81 for fiscal year 2023 with Ayres Associates Inc., to provide design and post design services for intersection improvements at Collier Parkway and Livingston Avenue. The design services are to be completed within 360 calendar days. The project is expected to be completed in 2026, at an estimated budget of more than $3.4 million.
- Confirmed the appointment of Jason M. Mickel, who was promoted to become the county’s new public works director, at an annual salary of $150,000.
Published May 17, 2023