Pasco County faces lean budget year

Pasco County’s revenues are falling short of projections — in the wake of a flattened economy due to the impacts of COVID-19. Robert Goehig, budget director for Pasco County, presented an overview of the preliminary budget at the Pasco County Commission’s June 30 meeting. In essence, the county can afford just 11 of 115 business plan initiatives brought forth by its department heads, Goehig … [Read more...]

Pasco commissioners receive honors

Pasco County Commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano each have a Presidential Advocate award from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) for their work during the 2020 legislative session. The commissioners were recognized during the association of counties’ annual business meeting, which was conducted virtually, according to a news release. “As a local government official, I … [Read more...]

Some 2020 races decided; others up for grabs

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano, Clerk & Comptroller Nikki Alvarez-Sowles and Sheriff Chris Nocco each will serve another four years — since no opponents came forward to challenge them by the qualifying deadline in the 2020 election. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley also will serve another four years, as his opponent withdrew. And, Mike Wells has been elected to Pasco County … [Read more...]

Fewer resources, tighter budget

Pasco County is estimating a $5.7 million hit to its general fund this fiscal year, due to impacts from the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to County Administrator Dan Biles. Biles shared that projection during the Pasco County Commission’s virtual board meeting on May 5 . “We think we have a plan in place to be within that revenue within the next six months, from an … [Read more...]

Serving up food — to sustain, comfort

Concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has flattened the economy, causing many to seek out help for the first time to put food on their tables. Here is a look at some efforts, to help feed others, across The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. Collecting food to feed the hungry The woman pulls up and pops open her trunk, so volunteers could gather the bags of … [Read more...]

Florida takes first step to reopen

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis began the first phase of reopening the state this week — after ordering all but essential businesses and activities to close down on  April 3. The new “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step” order institutes a phase one reopening throughout the state, except in  Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Under phase one, schools will remain in distance learning through the end … [Read more...]

Pasco assessing COVID-19’s fiscal impacts

Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles said the county is working through how it will respond to negative economic effects caused by coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). “We’ve had a pretty tremendous revenue impact to us — across several different funds. We are working through now, how we are going to make sure that we still stay solvent through the rest of the fiscal year, in light of the … [Read more...]

A closer look at coronavirus statistics in Pasco County

Pasco County’s percentage of positive coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases compares favorably to the state’s percentage of positive cases, according to Mike Napier, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County. Napier’s comments came on April 24, during a town hall virtual meeting hosted by Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey. Napier said the health … [Read more...]

Don’t forget to fill out your census form, officials urge

While headlines about coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) dominate media coverage,  something else that’s very important — the U.S. Census — is barely getting a mention, Pasco officials say. Maj. James Mallo, of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, spent a few minutes talking about the census during an April 24  virtual town hall meeting, hosted by Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn … [Read more...]

Lifting spirits in all sorts of ways

Spreading joy through bubbles Blaise Ryndes, of Land O’ Lakes, attracted national attention when he took his bubble-making skills to America’s Got Talent. Now, during a time of a global pandemic, the performer decided to take to his neighborhood streets, to help spread joy during a time of social isolation. He recently put on a one-car bubble parade for his neighbors. “To abide by social … [Read more...]