Funds for the Interstate 75/Overpass Road project and the Land O’ Lakes Boulevard Beautification Plan are among priority requests for the 2018 legislative session.
Pasco County commissioners agreed to a wish list for the upcoming session at their Aug. 29 meeting in Dade City.
The $15 million sought for I-75 and a new interchange at Overpass Road made it into the state’s 2017 budget. But, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the money.
County commissioners are hoping for a better outcome the second time around.
The approximately 9-mile project would widen, extend and re-align Overpass Road, and build a new I-75 interchange. It is a high-priority transportation project for the county in an area of northeast Pasco County that is rapidly developing, residentially and commercially.
“Obviously, we want to keep moving forward with that,” said Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore.
The $1.5 million that will be sought to beautify Land O’ Lakes Boulevard would pay for “targeted landscaping and place-making projects,” according to the draft version of the county’s state legislative agenda.
The boulevard is the main corridor running through the Land O’ Lakes community. The beautification plan would begin at the county line on North Dale Mabry Highway, cross State Road 54, and then head north to State Road 52 toward Brooksville and Hernando County.
It will be similar to a project along U.S. 19 in west Pasco, with a focus on medians and intersections.
“It’s a great opportunity to work to help revitalize this area and give a real, positive change to residents and businesses there,” Moore said. “It’s needed, and it’s well-deserved for the area.”
Another $2 million will be sought to complete the Gateway Beautification Plan for landscaping and monument signs at the north and south county lines on U.S. 19. Additional beautification also is planned for secondary gateways at major road intersections, including State Road 54, Moog Road, Gunn Highway and Little Road.
Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey is pushing to add a funding request to aid the county in buying land for the proposed Orange Belt trail, that would run through Land O’ Lakes.
She is asking that the county seek matching funds for this project, with the county pledging an amount to be determined before the legislative session begins.
Starkey said it could be easier to win approval if the county also puts up its money. “We need to get started (on this) before the land is bought up and compromised,” she added.
Pasco County’s legislative delegation will have a public meeting on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon, at Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Blvd. The annual meeting gives the public a chance to discuss projects and bills that they would like to see approved.
Other funding requests from the county in 2018 will include:
- $1 million for a planning and development study for the U.S. 301/U.S. 98/Clinton Avenue intersection realignment
- $5 million for an Advanced Traffic Management System for State Road 54 and State Road 56 to adjust traffic signal times and improve traffic flow
- $500,000 for a navigation center that will aid the homeless population