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SPORTS AUTHORITY CHIEF TO STAY BEYOND 2009

TAMPA

The head of the Tampa Sports Authority got a new contract Monday that keeps him in place at least a year after the 2009 Super Bowl comes to town.

Authority board members tweaked Henry Saavedra's contract before extending his tenure as executive director for another three years.

Saavedra has held the post for the last decade.

The board voted to increase his base salary from $200,000 a year to $205,000.

But it froze a contract clause for 2007 that would have given Saavedra an additional 2.5 percent increase - a cost-of-living allotment approved for all Hillsborough County employees.

Building plans hasten plans for 4-way stop

Tampa has plans to create a new four-way intersection near the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown's Channel District.

Although the project has been discussed for years, it may be speeded up by a developer's plans to build a new 20-story office building nearby.

Now Cumberland Avenue west of Meridian Avenue dead-ends in a grassy parking lot between the St. Pete Times Forum and the ConAgra flour mill.

ZEPHYRHILLS

City gives okay for Sysco Food Service deal

A hefty incentive package attached to a proposed Sysco Food Service distribution center gained initial approval from the City Council on Monday night.

The board voted unanimously to accept a deal that includes refunding more than $2-million in city taxes and $760,000 in impact fees and utility connection fees to Sysco over a decade.

Officials from Pasco County are coordinating further incentives that enrich the total package to about $5-million.

The Pasco County Commission is scheduled to consider it in a meeting today.

Sysco wants to build a 393,000-square-foot plant on 62 acres off Sixth Avenue, east of the CSX railroad tracks

The center would employ 257 people with annual salaries of $45,000 to $100,000.

Zephyrhills has been in competition with other sites, including North Tampa.

PORT RICHEY

As budget cuts loom, anticrime unit is cut

Pasco County Sheriff Bob White is disbanding the Crime Prevention Unit, because he anticipates budget cuts will force him to focus on core law-enforcement operations.

White expects county commissioners to trim his $94.7-million budget request, spokesman Doug Tobin said. Among Florida's 67 counties, Pasco's per capita crime rate ranked No. 32 in 2005. It jumped to No. 20 in 2006.

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