Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Politics

Tampa Bay local projects in line for legislative largesse

TALLAHASSEE

The $77.1 billion budget that lawmakers will vote on tonight is studded with hometown projects, the first time this has happened in an election year since 2006.

Often called "turkeys,'' they're also a mark of legislative influence. Tampa Bay, led by a delegation of powerful lawmakers that include Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, will see a healthy crop of hometown spending, a contrast to years of recession-pinched spending plans.

There is $10 million for a Pasco-Hernando College performing arts center in Weatherford's district. Another $10 million for a new USF College of Business in St. Petersburg. In Tampa, USF Health projects are listed for $20 million in funding.

"This is a budget with $3 billion in reserves, that's the most we've had in quite some time" said Weatherford. "So yes, there are some projects in there, some discretionary spending by the Legislature on things we've deemed to be important."

The budget isn't official until Gov. Rick Scott signs it. Last year, he trimmed more than 150 local projects. But he, too, faces re-election, and he might be less inclined to ruffle the feathers and loyalty of fellow Republicans.

Tampa Bay's share

Here are the local projects House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed to for Tampa Bay area counties, with details where available.

Pinellas

University of South Florida St. Petersburg. New building for the College of Business$10 million
St. Petersburg College Bay Pines Marine Science labs/classrooms$2.5 million
All Children's Hospital/Johns Hopkins Pediatric Research Zone$2 million
City of St. Petersburg for Agenda 2020 antipoverty plan$1.625 million
Tarpon Springs Superfund site redevelopment: dredging, wharf stabilization and road improvements at the 130-acre former site of the Stauffer Chemical plant$2.5 million
City of Oldsmar: construction of a BMX supercross track to attract Olympic-level athletes$1.27 million
Largo Cultural Center. New roof and other improvements$500,000
Palm Harbor Historical Society Museum. Improvements and building a ladder factory replica$387,753
Dunedin Fine Art Center Inc. expansion$500,000
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, for building a new downtown aquarium$2 million
Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center$500,000
Mahaffey Theater, for improvements to the St. Petersburg facility$500,000
Renovations to the Ponder House, a house on Ninth Avenue S owned by the Metropolitan Council of Negro Women and named after a late community leader$100,000
Pinellas Transportation Services — PARC Inc.$250,000
Louise Graham Regeneration Center Inc.$122,500
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition$150,000
Clearwater sanitary sewer expansion program$250,000

Hillsborough

University of South Florida Heart Health Institute$15 million
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine$5 million
Tampa Jewish Center$4 million
Tampa Jewish Community and Federation Project$2 million
Tampa Family Health Centers$500,000
Ready4Work-Hillsborough re-entry program for ex-offenders$750,000
Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office Inc. (DACCO)$600,000
Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa Inc.$225,000
Sports Medicine and Athletic Related Trauma Institute (SMART) at USF for pilot program to screen and educate high school athletes on sickle cell trait$100,000
Museum of Science and Industry. Design and construction for STEAM showcase. STEAM adds an A — for arts — to an education philosophy stressing STEM —science, technology, engineering and math$2.5 million
Tampa Bay Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. The late baseball great's old house was moved to its current location and is becoming a museum$50,000
Tampa Bay History Center$115,572
Hillsborough Homelessness Initiative$800,000
Grow Tampa Bay Tech — Tampa Bay Technology Forum$375,000
Hillsborough County. Cypress Street outfall project$750,000
Tampa Bay Water Authority. Cypress Creek Wellfield Surface Water improvements$432,000
Tampa Bay Watrous Canal rehab project$375,000
Temple Terrace Parkway Extension — Telecom Parkway to Morris Bridge Road$600,000
Hillsborough County. East County Regional Service/Resource Center$500,000

Pasco

Pasco Hernando State College: Performing arts education center and convention facility in Wesley Chapel$10 million
Pasco Regional STEM School/Tampa Bay Region Aeronautics. Expand aerospace career program and partner with Pinellas and Hillsborough schools and Tampa International Airport$1.5 million
Pasco Association of Challenged Kids Summer Camp$36,000
Lacoochee-Trilby Community Center. Programs for at-risk youth$200,000
Dade City. Hydrant and valve replacement$520,000
Dade City. Orange Valley well$713,000
Duck Slough drainage basin$200,000
Lacoochee/Trilby Water System improvements$500,000
Pasco County. Pithlachascotee-Anclote conservation effort$1 million
Zephyrhills. Fire protection water line$1.2 million
Metropolitan Ministries. Pasco County initiative$1 million
Hacienda Hotel restoration $1 million

Hernando

Hernando County. Nature Coast Educational Plaza$3.5 million
West Hernando Little League field$50,000
Expand the services of the Pasco Health Department's Smile Care-A-Van to Hernando County$20,000.
BayCare Behavioral Health for an Urgent Family Care program in Hernando County$150,000

Regionwide

Tampa Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)$6,169,944
Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services' Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough$750,000
Tampa Bay Innovation Training Center Skills Initiative — Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties$1.15 million
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, using the existing 2-1-1 referral line to connect returning veterans and families living in the Tampa Bay region to social service and behavioral health programs$150,000.
YMCA Tech Smart. For Tampa Bay project$100,000

     
Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.It’s also...
Published: 06/17/18