Frontage road not correct tax route
The 2014 Pasco County parks capital budget contains a $3.7 million expense that concerns us as local residents. The budget calls for utilizing parks and recreation impact fees to construct a frontage road that would lead to the Fields at Wiregrass, a proposed sports tourism project that will be built on 138 acres in Wesley Chapel.
While many county officials and citizens are eager to move forward with a dedicated sports tourism project, impact fee dollars may only be used for the construction of public parks facilities. A $3.7 million frontage road that leads to a privately operated sports tourism park is an expensive misappropriation of important taxpayer dollars that will ignore the needs and concerns of local residents.
The 2014 budget fails to address a critical shortage in fields within the growing Wesley Chapel corridor. For the past several years overcrowding of practice and game fields at the Wesley Chapel District Park has led to unsafe playing conditions that increase the likelihood of injury to athletes and spectators alike. Obviously children and athletes cannot play sports in the middle of a $3.7 million frontage road.
In addition, the proposed budget creates a $840,000 negative balance in the central zone parks impact fee facilities fund. If the 2014 budget is passed in its current form, the deficit will take 31/2 years to recuperate. This is far too long to provide for the current and future needs of this community, and it will do a great disservice to residents in central Pasco.
County staff and elected officials should consider alternative proposals with a balanced approach to both parks and tourism that better meets the needs of our residents.
Jeffrey Olsen, Wesley Chapel
Lost jobs are sad fact for county
I was saddened to read that the FreightCenter was leaving Pasco County, taking 150 employees out of Pasco and creating another 50 new jobs in Pinellas County because of the prohibitive cost of expanding in Trinity.
I would think with all the empty commercial business space in Pasco County that a viable alternative in the county could have been identified to prevent this loss of jobs. The loss of this business in Pasco County does not speak well to the ambitious goals of the Board of County Commissioners, working with the Pasco Economic Development Council, outlined in "The Harbors West Market Redevelopment Plan."
I would ask specifically what commissioners are going to do going forward to stop the migration of employment out of Pasco County. Clearly what they are doing currently is not working because the reality is that 200 jobs have left the county.
Ken Savich, Holiday