The City of Zephyrhills has solidified three legislative projects to present to the Pasco County legislative delegation at its annual meeting.
The session is set for Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Zephyrhills City Hall, 5335 Eighth St.
The public, and representatives of various interest groups and local governments are invited to present their requests to the delegation before the 2022 Legislative Session begins.
With that, the Zephyrhills City Council unanimously approved a staff recommendation to seek funding for the following multimillion dollar projects, during an Aug. 23 regular meeting:
- Sewer main extension/water main extension — Kossik Road and Fort King Road ($3.48 million)
- Zephyrhills Municipal Airport — taxiway, two box hangers, fixed-base operator/terminal ($5.33 million)
- Zephyr Park improvements ($5 million)
The next step was for representatives from the city to ask state Rep. Randy Maggard and state Sen. Danny Burgess to sponsor the projects on its behalf, during the delegation meeting.
Here’s a closer look at the priority projects, which also were outlined in a report prepared by Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe.
Sewer main extension/water main extension — Kossik Road and Fort King Road
This $3.48 million project calls for connecting sewer lines along Kossik Road from U.S. 301 to Fort King Road, then from Fort King Road north to Phelps Road and south to Simons Road.
It also includes a water main along Kossik Road, from Greenslope Drive to Fort King Road.
The sewer main portion will allow for the decommissioning of existing septic tanks along the route and will accommodate proposed development.
The water main portion will create a loop in the system, allowing for redundancy by being able to service the area from different directions.
The comprehensive project, Poe said, “will help to create a loop for the water system and install a sewer main that’ll open up our system, kind of in the northwest corner of our city.”
Zephyrhills Municipal Airport — taxiway, two box hangers, fixed-base operator/terminal
This Zephyrhills Municipal Airport improvement project is three-pronged, with each portion combining to total $5.33 million, if funded in its entirety.
The first piece calls for two box hangers on the southern infield — totaling slightly over $1.9 million — to house larger aircraft and boost economic development opportunities in coordination with the extension of Runway 1-19.
The housing of aircraft at the airport also will help to increase turbine operations, therefore beneficial for future FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) funding, officials say.
The second portion — totaling $725,000 — would be the construction of the parallel taxiway, from Runway 5-23 north to Taxiway Bravo to allow aircraft housed in the proposed hangers to access both runways 5-23 and 1-19.
The project’s third component is to construct a new fixed-base operator terminal — costing $2.7 million — to offer better service to pilots that fly in and out of the airport.
Poe said the airport project can be split into separate parts, but advised the entire package be submitted to the delegation, “and then let the state say, ‘Hey, we would only like to fund half of that, or a portion of it.’”
The airport is located at 39450 South Ave.
Zephyr Park improvements
For the past several years, the city has conjured up various ideas on how to spruce up the 34-acre Zephyr Park, at 38116 Fifth Ave.
It presently features Alice Hall Community Hall, lighted tennis courts, handball, fishing, picnic pavilions, barbecue grills, horseshoe pits, playground equipment and a lakeside trail.
But the Zephyrhills Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) envisions the community park to be much more — a place within walking distance to the city’s downtown core, intersecting recreation, fun and art.
Redeveloping the space into a blended urban natural park would provide a connection from downtown to the west of the CRA district, officials say, while promoting the economic development of surrounding neighborhoods and expansion of the downtown area.
The city organized a community open house back in May 2016 to gather input on what enhancements residents would like to see at Zephyr Park. A Zephyr Park master plan also was completed shortly afterwards, by project consultant Kimley-Horn and Burkhardt Construction Inc.
A draft concept shows an event lawn, family fun zone, wedding lawn, dog park, history garden, splash pad, fitness zone, bandshell, and pedestrian bridges, boardwalks and terraces surrounding Lake Zephyr, among other frills.
Should Zephyr Park gain state funding — is requesting $5 million— Poe acknowledged that staff will revisit and likely refine some of the park’s drafted redevelopment plans “because it has been several years,” since those talks took place.
The city manager put it like this: “We’ll look at it, talk about it, tweak it, because, you know, maybe the interest of the community has changed from the time when we originally did the plans, so we’ll look at all that.”
Published September 01, 2021