Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Hernando looking at plan to ease the way for paving lime rock roads

BROOKSVILLE — Good news could be just around the corner for residents who live along Hernando County's 375 miles of public lime rock roads.

The County Commission is considering changes to the process for paving lime rock roads that could make it easier to get projects approved and lengthen the time residents have to pay for the work.

Next month, Brian Malmberg, the county's assistant administrator for operations, will bring a proposal to the commission to change the way the county establishes municipal benefits units, which are used to finance the paving of lime rock roads.

Under the current system, residents interested in getting their roads paved collect signatures from their neighbors and present a petition to the county. A valid petition must include signatures from 60 percent of the property owners affected or 100 percent of the owners of improved lots along a road.

Several years ago, the county moved to the 60 percent requirement when some residents found it difficult to get to the previous requirement of two-thirds of property owners. Frequently, those gathering signatures had trouble getting responses from out-of-town owners of vacant lots.

From the gathering of petitions to the completion of paving, the process usually takes just over a year.

Now Malmberg is proposing a plan that would require each group of residents to pay a $250 administrative fee. Then the county would mail out a voting card to each property owner. If 51 percent of the responding property owners approved, the petition would be considered valid.

During a workshop with the commission earlier this week, Malmberg shared details of surrounding counties' policies for lime rock road paving. In every case, the requirement was approval from either 51 percent or 50 percent plus one of the property owners. Most also charged a fee.

Malmberg said that charging a fee gives the residents "some skin in the game,'' showing that they are serious about the paving effort and that it is not just one resident trying to get a road paved.

Hernando County pays one-third of the actual cost of paving lime rock roads, with the residents picking up the remainder. No other counties Malmberg surveyed helped pay the cost, he noted.

Currently, residents can pay their share of the cost when they get their bill or over a period of 10 years. Malmberg said he is hoping to be able to offer a 15-year payment alternative.

Once the county has gotten proof that enough people want the paving and an estimate of how much it will cost, the petitions are presented to the County Commission in a public hearing. The commission has the final say in each case.

Malmberg also noted that one nearby county doesn't wait until property owners come forward to seek paving in growing subdivisions.

He suggested the commission might consider adding a provision that, when a platted subdivision with lots less than 1 acre approaches 60 percent of its build-out size, the county could send out petition cards to find out if there is interest in paving the subdivision's roads.

Commissioners expressed support for the changes proposed.

"We need a good plan, and I think he's brought us one,'' said Commissioner Wayne Dukes.

Dukes noted that the county could never afford to pave all of the lime rock roads on its own.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell said he was glad to see a proposal for an easier system and one with the capability of initiating a paving project when a subdivision is nearing build-out.

"It saves us money in the long run, even though we are assuming 30 percent of the cost,'' Russell said.

He noted that if a road isn't paved, the county has to spend money on routine maintenance of the lime rock.

"I think it's a good plan,.'' Russell said.

Commissioner Diane Rowden, who pushed for a 51 percent requirement years ago when she was previously on the commission, said the new proposal will help people seek paving who might otherwise have been frustrated by the process.

"I'm very thankful to see this,'' she said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, later found in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, later found in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men, with several outstanding warrants, face additional charges after Hillsborough County deputies said they were driving a stolen car when they fled an attempted traffic stop on Thursday afternoon.The men ran away from deputie...
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Hudson pedestrian killed while crossing U.S. 19

HUDSON — A Hudson man was killed Thursday night while crossing U.S. 19.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 59-year-old Gerald Berube was crossing the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 north of Stahl Drive around 6:40 p.m. when he walked into the path ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning clouds yield to bright, warm weekend sunshine across Tampa Bay

Early clouds and possible morning sprinkles will yield to increasing sunshine later in the day, setting the stage for a pleasant and warmer weekend across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Temperatures are starti...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Missing Child Alert issued for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

Missing Child Alert issued for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been issued for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.Heaven Flores was last seen near the 1400 block of SW Cashmere Boulevard in Port St. Lucie, according to the Florida Department of Law E...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Bicyclist killed in Seminole Heights crash; portion of E Hillsborough Avenue closed

TAMPA — A bicyclist was killed early Friday morning in a crash in Seminole Heights.Tampa Police say the bicyclist was struck by a car just after 12:15 a.m.Eastbound E Hillsborough Avenue is closed from N Florida Avenue to N Central Avenue while polic...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• A stray shower is possible today as another cold front moves through, according to 10Weather WTSP. Luckily, the front only depresses temperatures into the lower 70s. The week...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

Ybor City remembers Ferdie Pacheco, a true ‘Tampaiño’

TAMPA — The speakers at Dr. Ferdie Pacheco’s memorial on Thursday evening were asked to keep their remarks to under 10 minutes, and to refrain from using profanity.They all thought that was pretty funny, of course."Like Ferdie ever spoke for less tha...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Taxpayer subsides of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsides of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Published: 12/15/17
Howard Altman: Military-themed gifts for your holiday shopping needs

Howard Altman: Military-themed gifts for your holiday shopping needs

The season of giving is upon us, so here’s a selection of military-themed gifts for the folks on your Christmas and Hannukah lists.Drink up: American Freedom Distillery is a veteran-owned maker of artisan whiskeys, rums, vodkas and gins located in St...
Published: 12/15/17