Widening of interstate set for next year
The long-discussed widening of Interstate 75 in Pasco County could begin a year from now. A planner for the Florida Department of Transportation told Commissioner Ann Hildebrand on Tuesday that the department is issuing a contract to widen the four-lane highway to six lanes between State Road 54 and State Road 52. Hildebrand said the project would cost $69 million and construction is scheduled to begin next October. "It is good news for I-75 and people traversing north and south through our county," she said. "They are really moving off the dime." Bipin Parikh, Pasco's assistant county administrator for development services, said the project also would widen adjacent segments of SR 52. It also includes a compromise for the Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club community to reduce road noise. New lanes would be shifted east — away from the neighborhood — and the state would add more trees as a buffer.
NEW PORT RICHEY
City manager goes on medical leave
City Manager John Schneiger is taking a medical leave of absence for about two weeks for unspecified reasons. Finance director Doug Haag has been named acting city manager until Schneiger's return, scheduled for Sept. 24. Haag declined to discuss details of Schneiger's medical leave, but said he expected the city manager to be back for a final budget public meeting on Sept. 24. "He has a very good management structure in place where he has rotated the acting city manager position when he has been gone to several people," said Haag, who has filled in before when Schneiger has gone on vacation. "So I have a lot of experience at City Hall to lean on during this time." Haag said Schneiger, who has been city manager since 2010, is available by phone and email, but all efforts will be made to conduct city business without contacting him. "I want to respect his privacy during his medical leave," Haag said. Haag said the biggest issue facing the city during Schneiger's leave will be continued work on implementing the city's volunteer-run animal control program, which is slated to kick off Oct. 1.
Someone is an $87,000 winner
A lottery ticket worth more than $87,000 was purchased over the weekend at the 7-Eleven at 7131 Ridge Road. The winning numbers in Sunday's Fantasy 5 drawing — 03-10-22-25-29 — were selected via Quick Pick, according to the Florida Lottery. Another winning ticket was purchased at the Publix at 23674 U.S. 19 in Clearwater. Each winner will get $87,042.57. For information visit www.flalottery.com.
Sheriff to speak at Rotary meeting
Sheriff Chris Nocco will speak at noon Monday to the Rotary Club of Land O'Lakes at Hungry Harry's Lakehouse, 3116 Land O'Lakes Blvd. Lunch is $10. For information, contact Randy Gailit at (813) 918-3027.