ZEPHYRHILLS — Residents trying to renew car tags or pay property taxes at the tax collector's satellite office will have to go elsewhere — at least for a while.
Last week's heavy storms tore a hole in the roof that covers the Westgate Shopping Center at 4904 Allen Road, sending water streaming into the office, Tax Collector Mike Olson said.
"At 9 o'clock (Thursday) morning, the water really started coming in," he said. "We vacated."
County employees covered all electronic equipment with plastic garbage bags, and by the afternoon, crews had moved the equipment on a covered truck to another office for storage.
Employees put a sign on the door alerting customers and directing them to the nearest offices in Land O'Lakes and Dade City. The workers have been relocated to other Tax Collector's offices.
None of the other businesses in the strip mall, which includes Big Lots, Beall's Outlet, a hospice thrift store, a mattress store and an insurance company, had to move out.
Crews began cleaning up the office on Friday, but rain returned Tuesday.
"It still leaked," Olson said.
Olson wasn't able to put a dollar amount on the damage, but said the space is leased from a Temple Terrace company. The company is responsible for fixing the roof, though Olson has hired a consultant to inspect the damage for the county.
He said he's not sure whether he will move back into the space or look elsewhere in the area for a location.
"It's a day-to-day situation," he said.
The office, which had been open about 11 years, saw about 60,000 to 70,000 residents a year, "enough to be worth it to keep it open," Olson said. However, it did not issue driver's licenses. Residents still had to go to Dade City or Land O'Lakes to get those.
"It's more of an inconvenience than anything," Olson said.