TRINITY — State Sen. Mike Fasano has secured $250,000 in the proposed state budget for a 3-year-old, $3-million project to fix flooding problems in Trinity.
The project area, called the Duck Slough basin, covers 21 square miles that encompass most of Trinity. The major concern comes from a drainage swale called Duck Slough as it runs through upscale neighborhoods like Thousand Oaks, Trinity Oaks, Nature's Hideaway, Chelsea Place and Wyndtree. Roads there became submerged after heavy rains in 2004.
County officials have started some projects to fix the flooding, but they're still short of money.
"There are more things that could be done in the basin to make it better," said County Engineer Jim Widman. "We don't have enough money to do everything we'd like to do."
Widman said Pasco officials have finished designing a flood control structure just north of Mitchell and Seven Springs boulevards that is awaiting a permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud. Other projects include changing undersized pipes, clearing drainage paths and other flood control structures.
State officials helped Pasco secure $1-million for the project two years ago, and the county has put up $500,000, said Greg Giordano, Fasano's chief legislative aide. Pasco is also hoping to get $1-million from Swiftmud this September, said agency spokeswoman Robyn Felix.
Fasano set aside $250,000 in trust fund money in this year's proposed budget, which still needs Gov. Charlie Crist's approval.
Flooding was especially dramatic after Hurricane Frances in 2004, when Ground Squirrel Drive in Nature's Hideaway was covered with water so deep even truck drivers didn't dare cross it. Roads crumbled in upscale neighborhoods like Thousand Oaks because of prolonged water exposure.
Chuin-Wei Yap can be reached at email@example.com or (813)909-4613.