We don't need more apartments
I read your article about the apartment complex to be built by Hernando County for low-income seniors. I am the owner of a 64-unit apartment complex in Spring Hill called Glen Oaks Apartments. The story also mentioned another 90 units being considered in Spring Hill by a private developer. All of this, of course, is being funded by government mortgages and tax incentives.
There are two apartment complexes already in Hernando that are for seniors only and both of them have vacancies. The property manager of one of them came to see me recently because she was concerned about her vacancy rate and was checking around to see if other complexes had similar problems. I assured her that apartments in Hernando are substantially overbuilt already (well over 1,000 units have been built in the last five years) and that there are many others having the same problem.
Rents have fallen more than $100 per month over that past two or three years because of the vacancy rates.
Seniors are very high-quality tenants desired by everyone. They stay together and pay their rent before they eat. They do not bother other tenants or do drugs. Drawing them away from existing complexes would surely increase other vacancy rates and increase the problems that exist in other complexes. I have excellent tenancy because I have a lot of and cater to seniors, but it will surely decline.
The price of $600 for a one-bedroom and $695 for a two-bedroom unit in Hernando is not cheap. There are many places in Hernando where you can get a two-bedroom for between $550 and $700. Some of them are loaded with amenities. One person rented a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a one-car garage in a gated community with amenities for $725. That community has substantial vacancies. They try to keep it a secret, but their rents have been reduced about $200 per month in the past couple of years.
Seniors are not homeless because the rents around here are too high. They are homeless because many of them who come here looking for apartments only have incomes of $600 or $700 per month. They are looking for government programs that will provide them with free or reduced rent so that they might survive independently. Such programs are not available here. Even Section 8, which is the only program available, has not been accepting applications for years due to lack of funds.
Perhaps this new money would be better used to provide additional Section 8 assistance for seniors. There are plenty of apartments available and we all accept Section 8 as far as I know.
I do understand that the Obama administration and many of the state and county officials are anxious to put a few construction workers back to work to build these projects. These are, of course, temporary jobs and do nothing to permanently stimulate the economy. Hernando County is so incredibly overbuilt right now in residential housing and all commercial construction, including apartments, that it is already beyond the scope of my imagination. We need about 50,000 new residents to use what we already have. We really don't need any more apartment complexes right now and we have to start thinking about the people we are hurting by added overbuilding.
This problem is not unique to Hernando. I get at least three or four offerings a month from commercial brokers trying to sell foreclosed or short sale properties in the Tampa Bay area for as little as $30,000 per unit. It would take nearly $100,000 per unit to build new ones and my calculations tell me that the government loans and incentives to build these new units often total up to $150,000 per unit .
Lawrence Stellato, Spring Hill
Mining project is causing concern
Pasco County may be permitting a company, which owns 78 acres intended for residential development, to mine 650,000 cubic yards of fill dirt from a site just south of County Line road. This will adversely affect traffic on this very busy two-lane highway between both Pasco and Hernando counties.
Hours of operation for the mine will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week. There could be as many as 36,000 truckloads of fill dirt being transported on County Line road, much of which remains two lanes with minimal shoulders.
The intersection of County Line and Mariner Boulevard leading into Shady Hills is already one of the worst intersections in Hernando County for accidents. We have an elementary school, several shopping centers, a hospital, several plazas with medical offices and the Anderson-Snow athletic complex. School, emergency and much traffic from the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. Highways 41 and 19 are using this route, which is designated for truck and commercial traffic.
Commissioners in Hernando have been contacted by the citizens affected and not one has responded to find out the details, let alone join in the safety concerns.
We are asking that the developer designate an alternate traffic pattern, with improvements to this section and repair following completion; protection for well damage in a 1,000-foot radius; and that the developer also install and maintain ground cover to control dust during and after the mining.
Judy Thompson, Spring Hill
Before you go, know THE TRUTH | Sept. 22, Dan DeWitt column
Speaking of truth, will Dan fess up?
If the truth were to be known it would probably reveal that DeWitt has never attended one of Ingoglia's seminars, Government Gone Wild.
If he had, he would know the source of all the data was from one or more government agencies, and both Democrat and Republican representatives were there with voter registration cards, and no political posters were permitted.
The seminars referred to in Hudson are not the first presentation. Several seminars have been presented and very well received by the several hundred people who attended each.
Let's talk about the truth and admit he has never attended one of the programs.
Jim Waters, Spring Hill