Monday, January 22, 2018
Politics

Tarpon Springs residents will vote in March on nursing home land sale

TARPON SPRINGS — Voters will decide in March whether the city should sell its valuable nursing home property to a developer who wants to build an assisted living facility.

Commissioners confirmed this week that they want to sell 3.46 acres at 501 S Walton Ave. to Harry Burnard for $813,000.

Burnard, of Qualified Property Management in New Port Richey, said he wants to rehabilitate the property and turn it into an assisted living facility for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Although Burnard hoped the city would hold a vote in November so he could get moving on the project, the commission decided to wait until March to allow more time to draft a development agreement — which could require Burnard to pay damages if he doesn't build the facility as promised.

Commissioners' decision to sell the property is based in part on the services and jobs they hope the facility will provide. Burnard, who also owns assisted living facilities in Tarpon Springs and Seminole, said the renovated facility will have 100 beds for the city's aging population and create 60 to 100 jobs.

LeCouris said money from the nursing home sale could be used to redo the bathrooms at Craig Park or for a shelter area at the Tarpon Sports Complex.

Mayor David Archie, Vice Mayor Susan Slattery and Commissioner David Banther approved the project. Commissioner Townsend Tarapani was absent.

Commissioner Jeff Larsen voted no, arguing that the prime location of the lot, which is near downtown and several city buildings, makes it too valuable to sell to the wrong buyer. The city only considered one bid on the property, throwing out one other because the developer submitted the wrong kind of check.

Larsen also questioned Burnard's decision to renovate the property rather than demolish it and start over.

Although Burnard promised to gut the inside and install new ceilings, floors and appliances, Larsen said he is still concerned about mold and other health hazards.

The dank and vacant former nursing home was abandoned 10 years ago and is so dilapidated it has been a training ground for police SWAT teams and the set for low-budget horror films.

Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4155. To write a letter to the editor, visit tampabay.com/letters or mail letters to the Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100A, Clearwater, FL 33755.

Comments
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER — By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows he’s now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Here’s what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Here’s what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Published: 01/18/18