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Grant money pours in, stems flood worries

(ran PW, PS editions)

The city plans to use its $162,259 in federal Community Development Block Grants to alleviate flooding problems for residents who live just south of downtown.

Grants are funding much of the $750,000 drainage improvement project, which will include underground storm pipe catch basins along Missouri Avenue and Adams Street. The project will also improve the water in Orange Lake.

Construction could begin in April and take five months. The block grant would reduce the $515,000 in project costs that the city would have to bear.

The New Port Richey Library also had requested the money to buy computers for its Community Connections program, which educates elderly, poor and disabled people.

But the library director was not at Tuesday night's meeting to answer City Council questions about the program, so the council voted 3-2 for the water project.

The city gets an annual allocation of block grant funding to benefit low-income or disadvantaged residents. In previous years, the city used the money for drainage improvements, construction of the New Port Richey Senior Citizens Center and handicapped-accessible doors at city buildings.

The county will determine whether this project meets the federal grant guidelines.

In other city business: Now that the Police Department has moved into its new digs on Adams Street, the council voted Tuesday to sell the 5,000-square-foot station on Grand Boulevard.

_ Jennifer Goldblatt covers business in Pasco County. She can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6229, or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6229. Her e-mail address is