Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey council turns focus to ailing neighborhoods

NEW PORT RICHEY — City Manager John Schneiger wants to set aside money next budget year to hire an economic development manager — someone to get stalled downtown projects moving, bring businesses into empty storefronts and revitalize neighborhoods.

City Council members gave him the green light this week to craft the proposal as budget talks move forward. But some members questioned how effective such a position would be, and whether the focus should remain on downtown when New Port Richey has a number of deteriorating neighborhoods.

Council member Bob Langford said he has seen neighborhoods in serious disrepair that "are not okay at all."

"Not in any way," he said at the council meeting Tuesday night.

The city's redevelopment action plan of nearly 50 pages has only a few pages on neighborhood revitalization, with the rest focusing on downtown, which council member Ginny Miller called "unacceptable." She also said additional funding for code enforcement may be more essential, as the city has reached a "critical lull" with only one officer handling cases.

Schneiger's proposal is to hire someone with five to 10 years of economic development experience to promote downtown revitalization and neighborhood improvements. The person would work out of the city manager's office and would be at the level of a department head.

The salary range would be somewhere between $56,300 and $82,721, most likely around $60,000 to $65,000, according to Schneiger's proposal. Coupled with benefits, the city would need to set aside $100,000 to make the position happen.

Mayor Bob Consalvo was in no mood to approve a new position Tuesday, though, saying he needed more information. He also questioned creating a position the city has done away with the past due to lack of success. He expressed concern over a growing trend he sees that New Port Richey is becoming a city filled with home renters, instead of owners.

Deputy Mayor Rob Marlowe – who first raised the prospect of creating the economic development position – said the city needs a "bird dog" to push on economic development issues.

Marlowe said the problems are fourfold: a downtown with empty storefronts, a stretch of U.S. 19 that is "beyond ugly," troubled neighborhoods, and a hospital on the verge of pulling out.

With Community Hospital moving to Trinity, Marlowe said he fears other businesses in the area may leave or go under.

He acknowledged that deteriorating neighborhoods also need to be addressed.

"There are some scary places within the city of New Port Richey," Marlowe said.

New Port Richey council turns focus to ailing neighborhoods 08/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and ex-cheerleader Lynn Aronberg finalize their divorce

    Blogs

    In announcing that her divorce was settled this week, Lynn Aronberg said the reason for the split in part was because she supports President Donald Trump and her Democratic husband does not.

    Dave and Lynn Aronberg were married on St. Pete Beach in May 2015.
  2. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations

    Bucs

    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.

    2008

    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Boy Scouts apologize over Trump's remarks at jamboree

    National

    Facing an angry backlash from parents and former members, the chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America apologized on Thursday for political remarks made by President Donald Trump at the organization's national jamboree this week, during which the commander-in-chief crowed over his election victory, attacked the news …

    President DonaldTrump, front left, gestures as former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, watch at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W.Va. Boy Scouts president Randall Stephenson told the Associated Press on Wednesday, July 26, in his first public comments on the furor over President Donald Trump's speech on Monday that he'd be "disingenuous" if he suggested he was surprised by the Republican president's comments. [Associated Press]
  4. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  5. Hit-run driver who refused to leave van threatened to shoot, Hillsborough deputies say

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Eddie Carly Colon Soto peeked his head out the broken side window of his van as a SWAT team closed in.

    The driver of this van tried to flee the scene of a crash in north Tampa Thursday morning until he could travel no farther, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. Then he refused to leave the van and threatened sheriff's deputies, they said. [TONY MARRERO   |   Times]