County may raise tourist tax in motels
Pasco County Commissioners may decide this week whether to raise the surcharge on motel stays from 2 percent to 3 percent. The tourist tax, also known as the "bed tax," is paid by motel and short-term rental guests. That money is used to promote tourism in the county, including the construction of projects intended to bring tourists to the area. Pasco has accumulated about $10.5 million in tourist tax money. Commissioners have given the go-ahead for county staff to begin negotiating with consultant Sportsplex USA to operate a proposed multi-use sports facility in Trinity, which would be funded with an as-yet-undetermined mix of tourism tax money, park impact fees and bond revenue. Tourism money may also be used to build a proposed athletics event center near Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel. The commission meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the West Pasco Government Center, 7530 Little Road in New Port Richey.
Hearing on landfill postponed again
An appeal hearing has been postponed again for a company seeking to put a controversial landfill near Dade City. Angelo's Aggregate Materials requested that the hearing, which was set for March 1, be delayed so it can "perform additional site investigation and potentially revise its engineering for the proposed landfill and permit application based on the results of the site investigation," according to a motion filed with the state Division of Administrative Hearings. Administrative Law Judge Bram Canter granted the motion and ordered all parties to advise him further on March 5. Angelo's appealed last February after the state Department of Environmental Protection denied its request for a permit to build and operate a 1,000-acre landfill near the Green Swamp. Among the reasons was a 2007 sinkhole, singled out by state officials as a key flaw in the project. Angelo's, which was pursuing required land use changes with the county at the same time, recently filed a revised plan that scaled back the proposed landfill to 716 acres.
Networking event seeks sponsors
Pasco Economic Development Council Inc. is seeking sponsors for its eighth Annual NetFest (Networking Festival) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 31 at Starkey Ranch on State Road 54 in Odessa. The NetFest will give attendees an opportunity to put on their jeans for a casual night of food, drinks, music and networking. No speeches, awards or master of ceremonies. Corporate sponsorships range from $500 to $2,000. For information call (813) 926-0827.
A detailed list of obituaries is published in Section B.