Bob Martinez made the day for Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Mark MacKinlay on Thursday when the governor released his proposed budget for the 1990-91 fiscal year. The money Martinez wants to send to Hernando County includes $165,000 for four new troopers to patrol the county's roads, a development that MacKinlay almost couldn't believe.
"I am elated with this news. . . . I'm totally flabbergasted. I really am," MacKinlay said.
Four new troopers would bring to 12 the number of troopers investigating accidents and searching for speeders in Hernando.
Currently, MacKinlay said, a single trooper sometimes is often the only one assigned to the hundreds of miles of roads in the county.
But MacKinlay was quick to caution that Martinez's proposal was just that - a proposal. "By the time the Legislature meets and they get through hashing up the pie, we usually don't get (what the governor asks)," he said.
Still, MacKinlay said, anything would help. "If we got one, I would be grateful. Two would be beyond my wildest dreams. Four, that's more than my heart can probably stand," he said.
Other projects that Martinez wants for Hernando include: The widening of State Road 50 from Lockhart Road to Croom Rital Road, around the Interstate 75 intersection, $4.13-million.