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Customers shouldn't pay to clean mess

It appears that Pasco County intends to stick home and business customers with a $2-million fine for its illegal wastewater dumping activities. The previous and current utilities directors (Doug Bramlett and Bruce Kennedy) devised ways to circumvent pollution laws and then actually authorized the illegal dumping.

The financial consequences of their malfeasance in office should not be borne by the county's utility customers through increases in rates. These two individuals should step forward and accept full, and fiscal, responsibility, for their actions. If anyone should pay the fine to be levied by the Department of Environmental Protection, the perpetrators, Bramlett and Kennedy, should be responsible, not the rate-payers.

Mr. Kennedy should be removed from office for his actions, and Mr. Bramlett should not be allowed to conduct any future business with Pasco County. Any of their contributions to the county's retirement system should be forfeited. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for willfully ignoring laws and regulations that are meant to protect the environment and the public.

Dale Gottschalk, Hudson

Act now before Zephyrhills

becomes too "big city'

Remember the days when Zephyrhills welcomed the snowbirds back from the North? What is happening to the city of love for all? Snowbirds pay taxes and do not bring children to overload our schools or burden our police forces. Some of us are not the best drivers in the world but we keep in the speed limits and don't crank our radios to the limit.

A lot of us have moved here to escape the growth in the city (example Miami) with all its drugs and crime. Now we are getting ready to move further north in Florida to escape the same thing here. We know there is a solution that is being pushed by Pasco County. Florida counties are required to revise their growth plans every seven years. They have sent a comprehensive plan to the state for approval, considering land use countywide and examining regulations ranging from when meetings must be held on new developments to what types of uses are allowed in a conservation subdivision. The developers do not like this as they say it will increase the cost of new buildings.

We need to examine what Zephyrhills wants in the future. Is it all the bad things that the big city brings to us with increase in taxes? Or is it more retired homeowners looking for peace and quiet in their final years? We have to lock our doors now yet still worry about someone breaking in and robbing or killing us. We wonder why the council approves pushing the city limits into our county. It seems the city is easy pickings for the developers with their knowledge of the building requirements.

There is a City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 at Zephyrhills City Hall. Come and air your concerns.

Herbert Richmond, Zephyrhills

Good luck finding handicap

parking space at Wal-Mart

+ EDITOR'S NOTE: The letter below was signed by 15 others.

I am writing this with tongue in cheek and I want to address it to all those unfortunate folks who are handicapped. My wife and I shop at Wal-Mart at State Road 54 and Little Road. It's a pretty good store. They catch a lot of slack, but it is still pretty good. We live in Pasco County and it's a pretty good county.

We have a handicap sticker on our car as do many seniors. To be an octogenarian as the wife and I are, you have to expect a handicap or two. It comes with the territory. Do you want to know of a good place to find handicapped folks? They are out there circling the parking lot at Wal-Mart trying to find a parking place. They know not to circle in the vicinity of the main entrance to the store because they have learned there are no handicap spaces in the vicinity of the main entrance.

There are oodles of vacant parking spaces on any given day if you are young and healthy, but for some reason no handicap spaces at the main entrance to the store. Since I'm inclined to be a malcontent, I took the liberty one day to count the number of handicap spaces available in the parking lot. I counted 30 and strangely enough they were all occupied. There were an abundance of vacant spaces but all the handicap spaces were full.

I checked with Pasco County Development Review and what I found out made me ashamed of myself for thinking and some times cussing at Wal-Mart for being stingy with their handicap spaces. I was so embarrassed. Wal-Mart had 10 handicap spaces more than required, assuming the store has less than 1,000 parking spaces. If they only had 500 spaces they would need only nine handicap spaces to meet requirements.

So the next time you are shopping Wal-Mart and you can't find a handicap space feel good for those nonhandicapped folk and be happy you are shopping at a facility that exceeds its quota of handicap spaces. Remember exercise is good for you and walking is a good exercise.

Paul McElroy, New Port Richey

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