Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Wesley Chapel neighborhood needs road repairs, but at what cost?

DADE CITY — Fox Ridge residents have complained for years about potholes and flooded streets in their Wesley Chapel neighborhood. On Tuesday, more than 50 of them showed up at a Pasco County Commission meeting to demand something be done — but not at the prices suggested by the county.

County staff last month suggested setting up a special taxing district to tackle the infrastructure problems. The first job — correcting the neighborhood's stormwater system — was estimated at $1.3 million, and residents would have to pay for the work themselves: $458 per household per year for five years.

When that work is done, the county would consider an additional assessment to fix the roads. About a dozen people said it's too much.

"I just think that $500 is a big burden to put on our family," said Dawn Perdomo, who arrived with five young children. "I just think there has to be a better way to resolve it."

"Please don't burden these homeowners," said lawyer Richard Roosa, whose daughter lives at Fox Ridge, just south of State Road 54.

County Administrator Michele Baker explained that because the entity responsible for neighborhood maintenance — the Pasco Heights Road and Bridge District — failed to do its job, it had fallen to the county to help out.

The Legislature, which created the developer-led road and bridge district in 1977, declared it "inactive" in March 2011, a step shy of dissolution. Now the county is seeking to create a special taxing district to take on the maintenance itself.

"The commission is between a rock and a hard place," Baker said.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to create the district, but held off on committing to the $1.3 million assessment. They want staff to look into lowering the cost or asking the Legislature to reactivate the road and bridge district.

If they don't commit to the assessment by Sept. 3, they will have to delay the work at least until next year.

Comments
For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

The White House was under siege.Domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide were ignored, pointing to a potential high-level coverup. Two Cabinet secretaries were caught chargin taxpayers for luxury travel. A Playboy centerfold alleged an extram...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Freestyle skier doesn’t even bother to try tricks in Olympic women’s halfpipe

Freestyle skier doesn’t even bother to try tricks in Olympic women’s halfpipe

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The words left Liz Swaney’s lips without an ounce of irony. No telling curl of the lips. No wink. Nothing. She meant them. All of them. "I didn’t qualify for finals so I’m really disappointed," the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Video: Swiss skier Fabian Bosch explains his viral escalator stunt

Video: Swiss skier Fabian Bosch explains his viral escalator stunt

Last week, a video went viral that showed Swiss freestyle skier Fabian Bosch dangling while hanging onto an escalator, arm outstretched, as a teammate rode alongside him."We had to wait until our apartment was ready, so we had to kill time, we got re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Wardrobe issues cause Olympic stress for French skaters

Wardrobe issues cause Olympic stress for French skaters

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The first notes of Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You" had just played when Gabriella Papadakis suddenly became aware that people were about to see a whole lot more of her shape than she had planned. The French ice dancer’s glitterin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

Video: Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in brief court hearing

PARKLAND — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has appeared in court for a procedural hearing. Cruz said nothing at Monday’s hearing in Broward County Circuit Court, the first he attended in person and not via teleconference from jail. He ke...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

Teachers say Florida shooter’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him

PARKLAND, Fla. — The real problems started at least as early as middle school and quickly intensified. There were the vocal outbursts, disturbing drawings of stick figures with guns, constant disciplinary issues. There were threatening statements wri...
Updated: 3 hours ago