(ran NTP edition)
A summary of stories of interest to North of Tampa communities from the pages of The Times in the last week:
HOPEFUL SIGNS: Hillsborough commissioners decided last week to put up signs advertising the dozens of public works projects that would be financed by a proposed half-cent increase in the local sales tax. The signs were Commissioner Ed Turanchik's idea. He suggested them as a way to "show people what we're talking about." The proposed tax increase, scheduled for a vote in September, would raise an estimated $2.7-billion over 30 years _ a large chunk of it would be used to build a new Tampa stadium.
BUILDING BOOMLET: During the first three months of this year, officials in Hillsborough issued more residential building permits than during any quarter since early 1987. The most active areas were in northern Hillsborough. Developers pulled permits for 566 apartments in Tampa Palms, 224 homes in the Carrollwood Key subdivision and 240 apartments in Town 'N Country. Despite such numbers, builders warn against expecting a sustained building boom that occurred in the mid- to late '80s.
STOLEN GUNS: Hillsborough's top crime fighter apparently has a problem keeping _ and keeping track of _ his handguns. Police said last week they have been unable to trace two guns stolen from Hillsborough State Attorney Harry Lee Coe because he never gave them the serial numbers. A handgun was stolen from Coe's car in October 1994 and another in February. After the second robbery, Coe told investigators he did not have the serial numbers.
DRY SEASON: When we last wrote about the local water supply a few weeks ago, we told you things were looking up, that heavy rains had finally begun filling Florida's underground source of drinking water. Now we have to tell you not to take advantage. Water experts said last week that water use in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties is soaring by as much as 43-million gallons a day over last year's average. They are again urging strict conservation.
FINANCIAL WOES: A financial planner who is the leading Republican fund-raiser among the candidates for a countywide seat on the Hillsborough County Commission admitted last week that he has had plenty of money problems. Terry D. Morehouse said the house foreclosure, federal tax liens and the threat of jail time for unpaid debt should not make people think less of his ability to serve on the commission. On the contrary, he said, he proved his mettle by eventually getting his financial house in order.