ZEPHYRHILLS — Pasco County tax collector Mike Olson announced Thursday that he will not repair or reopen his storm-damaged satellite office at the Westgate Shopping Center.
The branch at 4904 Allen Road has been closed since March 31, when high winds ripped open the roof, causing severe water damage and mold growth.
"Environmental experts I hired have confirmed a mold outbreak," Olson said. "Their recommendation was to gut the space and start over. That meant ripping out and replacing the drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, carpet, air conditioning ductwork, and so forth."
Olson decided the expense would be too great — especially when he figured to someday leave that leased space once he builds a larger facility in the Zephyrhills/Wesley Chapel area to also provide driver's license services.
"It's not a good time to talk about buying land and building a new office, but with property values at their lowest in years, we might find a bargain out there," Olson said.
East Pasco residents can visit other Tax Collector locations in Dade City at the East Pasco Government Center, 14236 Sixth St., Room 100, (352) 521-4360; and in Land O'Lakes at the Central Pasco Government Center, 4111 Land O'Lakes Blvd. (U.S. 41), (813) 235-6020.