Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Legal questions still stymie Port Richey dredging project

PORT RICHEY — The city's canal dredging project remains mired in legal questions that prevented council members from moving forward with it Wednesday night.

At a meeting of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency board, council member Steve O'Neill made a motion to pay about $30,000 for a consultant's study needed before the city can hold a referendum on the project. The study would outline the proposed tax assessments on about 140 property owners along the canals to pay for the dredging, estimated to cost between $4.3 million and $4.8 million.

But O'Neill's motion was met with silence and died for lack of a second.

Council members Terry Rowe and Nancy Britton said they could not support the study until the city attorney fully addressed the legal questions Rowe raised two weeks ago.

The city has spent CRA dollars, collected from virtually every city taxpayer, on the planning and engineering of the project. Rowe asked whether the city can legally turn around and assess only the waterfront property owners — the ones who would directly benefit — for the actual dredging work.

It also remains up in the air if those waterfront property owners can be required to repay the city for $1 million spent so far on planning.

City Attorney Joe Poblick said in his initial review he saw no legal roadbloacks with the city's use of CRA funds for the planning phase of the dredging, but said he is still investigating. The council did not set a new date to again address funding the study.

The City Council did, however, vote unanimously to spend $11,653 to continue the permitting process.

Legal questions still stymie Port Richey dredging project 11/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 7:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more


    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott

  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83


    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]
  4. Austin Mahone talks Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, his pop evolution and more


    Austin Mahone has vivid memories from his childhood visits to see his grandparents in Tampa Bay.

  5. Motorcyclist killed in Pinellas Park crash


    A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday morning when he left the roadway and possibly struck a parked vehicle in Pinellas Park.