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. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal

    Hurricanes

    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis

    Bucs

    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
  4. The Mill restaurants offering half off when customers donate items for hurricane relief

    Blogs

    The Mill restaurant in St. Petersburg and its newly-opened location in Brandon are collecting donations to help residents of the Florida Keys who've been affected by Hurricane Irma.

    The dining room at The Mill in St. Petersburg photographed in 2015.
  5. Navy removes Jacksonville hospital workers who called babies 'mini satans' (w/video)

    Health

    JACKSONVILLE — A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, "How I currently feel about these mini Satans."

    A Navy hospital in Florida has removed some employees from patient care after Snapchat photos showed a nurse giving the middle finger to a newborn with a caption that said, "How I currently feel about these mini Satans." [Photo from video]