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Pasco County's rush to franchise services hurts local businesses

County is wrong on recycling deal

Now the county is looking into franchising trash service again. Why do they spend taxpayers' money to look into things that are best left alone? Recycling coordinator Jennifer Seney claims that this will help by reducing costs and boost recycling. I think not; by reducing competition you will only raise costs plus the county already mandates what can be charged.

Recycling will only get better as people become more aware of the benefits; they can't be forced to recycle. By franchising the county you will run local businesses out of the county and leave it to large national companies that do not care about the residents. Maybe the commission does not remember when one of the largest waste haulers in the world dropped thousands of local customers. Who came in and picked up the slack? The local family-owned, Pasco-based haulers, that is who.

These are the people that live in this county and support local businesses, charities and functions. Now they want to run them out of business. What is next? Are they going to choose what bank you can use, what store you can shop at, what cars you drive?

Jeffrey Stewart, New Port Richey

Tough recycling ordinance needed

Jennifer Seney, Pasco County recycling coordinator, thinks eliminating competition in trash hauling is a way to have fewer trash trucks in a neighborhood, reduce rates and improve recycling. All worthwhile objectives, but no rational person can expect elimination of competition to achieve them.

People use different vendors to remove their trash for different reasons. For some, it is cost; for others, it's once a week recycling; for yet others, it may be a preference for the pickup days offered by the company, the courtesy of their employees or other attributes of the company.

The trash pickup rates in Pasco County are more reasonable than any of the seven communities where I have lived, thanks in large part to competition.

Ms. Seney claims that by franchising haulers, we can force them to provide recycling bins. How can any reasonable person think the trash haulers are going to purchase and distribute bins and not recover the cost in the fees they charge?

The decision to recycle is driven by whether or not you want to help the environment by removing reusable material from the waste stream. Lacking a concern for the environment, individuals will only recycle if there is a significant penalty for not doing so.

On any given recycling day in my neighborhood, less than 5 percent of the homes have blue bags out for pickup. And it's not because the haulers don't offer recycling — they do!

We don't need incentives for haulers to offer recycling. We need incentives for the residents of Pasco to use the service that is available.

When I lived in New Jersey, everyone recycled. Why? Because it was the law. If you mixed recyclables with your trash, you were subject to fines and suspension of your trash removal service — which was privately operated.

I suggest Ms. Seney focus her time getting the commissioners to adopt a tough recycling ordinance with financial penalties for not complying. Only then will we see a substantial increase in participation in recycling.

William F. Humphrey, Trinity

Sports arena will affect retirees

The Pasco Commission continues to work toward developing a multifield lighted sports complex on Trinity Boulevard, adjoining an active fire/sheriff's station and Heritage Springs, a 55-plus, retirement community. This site was selected following a study performed by Sportsplex USA, whose recommendation was based primarily on the construction readiness of the site.

Not considered was the negative impact the lights and noise will have on the Heritage Springs residents and the increase in traffic on Trinity Boulevard, Duck Slough and Little Road. The concept is to draw out-of-town visitors for overnight stays on weekends. The Trinity site was designated to be the location of a library and park to serve the Trinity area. Neither exists today. Impact fees have been paid by residents who purchased homes for a neighborhood park.

Drawing out-of-town visitors to participate in sports is valid. In order to accomplish this, the facility must offer something more than the competition and the four- or five-field complex proposed for this site does not accomplish that. It seems that there is more interest in getting something built than to build the right thing in the right place.

The county needs to rethink the site selection. Those in Trinity or Heritage Springs, more specifically, should not have their quality of life negatively affected so that out-of-town visitors can come and play in a park that should be for local use.

Steve Hartman, Trinity

Hurricane center funding is shaky

I was wondering how the Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Center was doing after the much ballyhooed building dedication and photo opportunity a while back.

It looks like the $750,000 he was counting on is tentative in light of the state's $3.2 billion deficit.

The $750,000 from the state would keep the clinic going for a year to 18 months. What happens after that? Tentative, need and hope.

Thomas Karcher, New Port Richey

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Pasco County's rush to franchise services hurts local businesses 03/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 5:44pm]
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