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Dade City police chief sworn in

DADE CITY — The packed audience gave the new police chief a standing ovation, then left after he was sworn in.

Commissioners welcomed new police Chief Raymond Velboom to the city Tuesday night.

The city has been without a permanent chief since Phillip Thompson retired in August. Before Velboom, Capt. David Duff served as the interim chief.

Velboom praised his new colleagues and predecessor.

"I have big shoes to fill," he said.

Velboom, a 27-year veteran of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, recently served on a committee charged with evaluating the Hillsborough County jail system after inmate abuse allegations.

Members of the city police force and Pasco Sheriff Bob White were present when Velboom took his oath.

His wasn't the only new face at the meeting.

Tuesday was the first meeting attended by new City Manager William Poe after he was hired in February.

"It's a pretty exciting time for Dade City," said Mayor Hutch Brock.

Poe stayed quiet for the majority of the meeting. He addressed the commission about the state Department of Transportation's plan to repave Meridian Avenue. He said eight parking spaces near Seventh Street will be eliminated if the DOT adds a planned bike lane.

Parking is already tight in downtown, so commissioners decided to explore another area for the bike path. They will meet with representatives from the DOT next week.

The city also honored Finance Director and City Clerk Jim Class on Tuesday night. Class served as the interim city manager before the city hired Poe.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (352)

521-6518

>>Fast facts

In other news:

The Dade City Commission on Tuesday introduced an ordinance that would tack a $100 park and recreation fee onto new residential building permits. The money would pay for refurbishing and building park facilities, and would be collected when building permits are issued.

The fee would be charged on each new residential unit. For example, someone building a duplex would have to pay $200. The city has negotiated this fee into permits for recent developments, but the ordinance would make it mandatory. A public hearing will be held on April 22.

Dade City police chief sworn in 03/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 9:16pm]

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