Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Some things to watch for in Pasco County in 2017

Here are some stories to keep an eye on in Pasco County during 2017:

• The $20 million Florida Hospital Center Ice complex in Wesley Chapel is scheduled to open in January, bringing new sports-related tourists to Pasco.

• The Pasco County Commission will hire a new county administrator to replace Michele Baker, who is leaving when her contract expires July 1.

• The Pasco County Commission must decide if it wants to bless a new zoning district called the connected city corridor in Wesley Chapel, which will feature ultra-fast Internet-ready employment sites in exchange for letting developers pay less in transportation fees.

• Pasco County will attempt to negotiate a development and operating deal with Sarasota-based RADD Sports, the county-picked vendor for a proposed 98,000-square- foot multipurpose athletic center in the Wiregrass Ranch area of Wesley Chapel.

• Digital billboards could appear around Pasco County as commissioners consider relaxing a 17-year-old ban on new billboards to facilitate a trade to take down some of the static signs along local roads.

• The Pasco County School Board will adopt new attendance zone boundaries for middle and high schools in eastern and southwestern Pasco on Jan. 17, in time for school choice applications to begin Feb. 1.

• Cypress Creek Middle-High School in Wesley Chapel and Bexley Elementary School in Odessa will open in August to help ease crowding at nearby schools. Wiregrass Ranch High will end its 10-period day as a result.

• A two-year renovation project will begin at Land O'Lakes High School in the spring, working around students, who will remain at the campus throughout.

• The Cambridge Program is expected to expand into Anclote High, Paul R. Smith Middle and San Antonio Elementary schools in 2017, providing more accelerated curriculum options for children in those areas.

• The Pasco County School Board will pursue a near doubling of impact fees to support new school construction. The County Commission ultimately will decide the issue.

• The "stand your ground" hearing in State of Florida vs. Curtis Reeves is scheduled for February. Reeves is charged with second-degree murder, accused of killing a man during the previews at a Wesley Chapel movie theater in January 2014.

• Adam Matos, charged with four counts of first-degree murder, is scheduled to stand trial in February. Matos is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, her parents and her new boyfriend, and kidnapping his son in September 2014.

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