Break on fees may break jobs crisis
Much is being said lately that it is only the big, bad builders who want to see a break in the impact fees solely for profit. Then add in the Realtors and greed for commissions they work for. Let's just sell off the glut of houses on the market before we can build again.
As of today there are 2,510 residential listings in the Hernando County. There are other for-sale by owners and foreclosures not necessarily included in that number.
What you don't see is any mention that many foreclosed and short sale homes languish on the market because of the banks. They string potential buyers, sellers and agents along for months and don't always come to closing. I watched a particular home in our neighborhood: a very nice house that went under agreement three different times before it sold. If they would set their bottom line, accept a deal and close on it, you will see more of these come off the market.
The other side is that as of today there are 2,253 vacant-land listings. In many cases, these are in developed communities where roads and utilities are already in place. No new drain on the county budget.
Consider what goes into building a new home: An architect to design it, a surveyor to plot it, a site contractor to clear and grade the land, a concrete contractor for the slab, a plumber, an electrician, a heating/air conditioning contractor, a framing crew, a roofer, insulation contractor, dry wall installer, painter, stucco or siding contractor, finish carpenter, cabinet installer, flooring contractor, appliance dealer, irrigation system installer, landscaper and maybe even a pool. Plus consider all the materials and components purchased by this list of contractors to build that new home.
If the county postponed $4,000 from the current impact fee to be paid at a later date that could help stimulate some new home construction. Another argument is that every new house means new students. That's not true. This is still a second home and retirement destination.
The unemployment rate in Hernando County hit 13.8 percent and is the sixth highest in our state. Not much to be proud of, but if this county is so bad because its economic base was the construction trades, then doesn't it make sense to help the building trades and potential new buyers?
If you look at how much goes into a new home, it would have to have a positive impact on this county's economy and unemployment rate. We hear about bringing in new industry. What about helping out the old industry?
Berni Paradise, Spring Hill
Apathetic care, Oct. 12 Dan DeWitt column
ER visit added insult to injury
I have been thinking of my last visit to an emergency room, where I waited a long time and feel I was treated badly. After a fall, I went late on Saturday night Jan. 24. My left hand was hurting, my lower face (lips and chin) were cut and scratched, and my right ankle was badly swollen and painful. I thought it might be broken.
I had an X-ray on the ankle (a sprain, not broken). The ankle was wrapped, my face and lips were not treated. I already had an ice pack and had taken something for pain. The total bill for the X-ray, wrap and minutes with a doctor was $1,250.90.
This happened at Citrus Memorial in Inverness. I would not have gone to an emergency room if there had been someplace else to go after 10 p.m. on a Saturday. When they are open, we have found Walk-In Clinics to be much better than emergency rooms.
It's true I did not have a life-threatening problem. It was similar to Mr. DeWitt's son. A walk-in clinic would have been fine but I was concerned about my ankle and did not want to wait until Monday.
Yes, the whole health care system is bothering me. The care at any emergency room anywhere is only as good as the doctor and the rest of the staff on duty at that time.
Doris Taylor, Brooksville
Fire drinking bus driver right away
The school bus driver who had a 0.057 blood-alcohol reading at 9:55 a.m., right after her shift of driving, had to be addressed by the school superintendent and the School Board to terminate this individual. My question is, why did it take action from the superintendent? There is a defined rule for termination if a person is found to have more than a 0.04 blood-alcohol reading. The supervisors who permitted this person to just be put on leave with pay should be thrown out. There is no leeway for this behavior.
There is no defense for this to have happened. The person knew she had been drinking within the designated time allowed for alcoholic consumption and chose to drive that bus. How many times did this person do that before she was caught?
I am a retired truck driver and I also drove a school bus. I know the perils out there on the road. This kind of behavior cannot go unchecked any longer. Heads must roll in the school transportation system and people have got to be held to a higher standard.
Pete Yachimske, Weeki Wachee
It's right to keep it tight at the light
Like many of you, I drive around the country seven days a week. Traffic lights are everywhere. When the light turns green, that's the signal to proceed through the intersection. If you're in line waiting for the cars in front of you to go — you notice some cars travel four to five car lengths behind the car in front — that's unconscious selfishness.
Why? Because that driver has no regard for the other drivers trying to get across the intersection before the light turns red. This is especially noticeable waiting for left turns. The left turn arrow is only on for a few seconds, yet some drivers take their time making the turn, leaving many car lengths between the driver and the car in front. Sometimes the first car takes four to five seconds to start into the turn — if a lot of cars are waiting to make the turn, several will not make it – the light turns red and they have to wait for the next light.
Think of the people behind you and don't commit unconscious selfishness.
Nick Morana, Spring Hill