Fliers can get cleaner planes in Zephyrhills

ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills Municipal Airport will get a new aircraft washing station, thanks to a $52,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation.

The City Council voted Monday evening to accept the grant and provide a $13,000 local match.

According to a memo written by airport manager Trina Sweet, the station will "reduce the risk of excess oil and chemical runoff into our groundwater system and ensure compliance with environmental agencies."

The council also extended two 10-year lease agreements for hangars at the airport. According to documentation provided by Sweet, one lease had lapsed by a little more than two months and the other by a year when the extensions were brought before the council.

Sweet said the extensions "fell through the cracks" because of the large amount of leases issued during the late '90s.

Council President Jodi Wilkeson said she hoped the city would be more proactive in scheduling reminders for looming lease deadlines in the future.

A resolution to increase a number of administrative fees was dropped by the council. Increases to charges for site plan review, rezoning, annexation, and tree removal would have been included in the revised rate structure.

Even with the proposed increases, the fees in Zephyr­hills would have been lower or comparable to those charged by other east Pasco municipalities and the county.

"What we're looking at is that we're covering our costs and not eating away at the money we need to keep our city fiscally healthy," said Wilkeson, who showed initial support for the resolution.

Council Vice President Lance Smith opposed the increase but said he would like to see a drafted resolution of the new schedule. He put forward a motion, but the other council members refused to vote on the issue.

"I'm not in favor of raising any fees," Smith said. He continued: "We should have done it when growth was booming."

City Manager Steve Spina said the increases will be revisited when the economy improves.

A proposed ordinance that would limit sales in temporary structures — like the fireworks sold out of roadside tents — was tabled until the June 22 meeting. Under the proposal, temporary sales would only be allowed by businesses with a permanent structure on site.

Fliers can get cleaner planes in Zephyrhills 06/08/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 9:06pm]

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