Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco hires Washington firm to help with Ridge Road extension permit

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco commissioners on Tuesday voted to hire outside help in their quest for a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend Ridge Road.

Commissioners voted unanimously to hire Washington, D.C.-based Dawson & Associates to review the permit application, whether it contains any deficiencies and to assess its chances for approval.

From there, commissioners will decide whether to pursue further efforts to secure the permit to extend the road. The county has sought the corps' blessing for more than 15 years.

"We've spent a lot of time and effort to get this through, so it makes sense to keep trying," Commission Chairman Jack Mariano said of the decision to hire Dawson.

The company will be paid $38,500.

A registered Washington lobbyist, Dawson describes itself on its website as "the nation's premier firm for resolving complex challenges involving federal water resources and environmental regulatory policy and procedures."

County Administrator Michele Baker emphasized that Pasco does not hire lobbyists and that the work Dawson will handle is technical and will be performed by its technical advisory division.

Commissioner Kathryn Starkey was part of a delegation that recently visited Washington to push legislators to support flood insurance rate relief. While there Starkey talked with representatives from a different lobbying firm, Van Scoyoc Associates Inc., about the Ridge Road project and passed that information along to Baker. Baker, however, said she wanted Dawson for the work.

The corps has stated it wants the county to study alternatives to the Ridge Road extension, such as widening State Roads 54 and 52 to 10 lanes each and extending Tower Road — options the county has rejected.

Officials say that extending Ridge Road will create a needed east-west route — and an evacuation path — from U.S. 19 to Moon Lake Road, where Ridge now ends, to the Suncoast Parkway.

Pasco hires Washington firm to help with Ridge Road extension permit 02/25/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa


    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

  2. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote


    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

  3. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  4. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]