Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills council seeks more information on inmate work details

City Council members are cautiously considering using inmate work crews from Zephyrhills Correctional Institution to tackle odd jobs.

City Manager Steve Spina's proposal to take a look at the nearby state prison's outside work squad program was met Monday with a mix of polite skepticism and curiosity. Spina said the city could get up to six inmates working a 40-hour week for about $59,000 a year, which includes the cost of a prison guard supervising the work detail. The inmates could do a variety of jobs — mowing, cleaning up alleys, improving sidewalks or painting fire hydrants, Spina said. Apopka participates in the program, he added.

"The benefit to the city is six extra bodies doing labor," said Spina. "One possible negative is community reaction."

Council members expressed concern about liability, insurance costs and the types of inmates working on the crews. Spina assured them that the inmates would likely be trustees and that "no triple murderers" would be manning lawn mowers on city properties. Council member Alan Knight said he would want a stipulation that the inmates would not work near schools. Spina said he would do further research on the program.

In other business, the council:

• Turned down a request from David Krasizgrun to change the land use designation of about 30 acres he owns at the northern end of the city. Krasizgrun's plans to build up to 402 apartments on the property around Phelps Road on the west side of U.S. 301 drew protests from neighbors who want the area to remain rural. The city's planning commission previously denied the request.

• Agreed to request time on the next Pasco County Commission meeting agenda to urge commissioners to continue using the same funding formula the county has used for 25 years to distribute gas tax revenue to municipalities. The county agreed last year to wait one year before implementing a new formula that would mean significant losses to Pasco's six cities. Zephyrhills stands to lose more than $300,000 if the formula changes.

Zephyrhills council seeks more information on inmate work details 08/27/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate Obamacare effort dies; Rubio in favor of repeal, Nelson against


    WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican effort to Obamacare failed early Friday, with John McCain providing a decisive vote.

    The Senate vote
  2. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  3. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  4. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  5. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda