Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pasco public safety, parks and library referendums: What you need to know

WHAT DO THE BALLOT INITIATIVES DO?
  • Approving general obligation bonds.
  • Pasco County is asking voters to consider four separate bond issues, marketed as Go 4 Pasco, to borrow a total of $241 million to pay for an expand jail, new and remodeled fire stations, park maintenance and refurbished libraries. Combined, the four referendums could raise property taxes .6107 mills for up to 30 years.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
  • The county is now spending $2 million a year to send prisoners to other counties because of crowding at the detention center in Land O’ Lakes. The county says that will be exacerbated without a 1,000-bed expansion to handle growth for the next 10 years. Cost is listed at $132.15 million
  • The county would build five new fire stations and rebuild four outdated stations to reduce emergency response times. Cost is listed at $70.2 million.
  • The county has a backlog of maintenance projects that lingered from a half-dozen years of constrained county budgets. Cost of the park renovations is listed at $20.2 million.
  • The county’s six libraries largely are unchanged since their initial design in the late 1980s. The cost of modernizing and adding technology upgrades is listed at $18.6 million.
  • Without the capital spending, county officials have said inmate housing costs will rise, response times on fire and ambulance calls will increase, some park facilities could fall into disrepair and risk being shut down, and libraries won’t sufficiently meet the needs of residents.
  • Critics have said the county should have done a better job of budgeting in past years instead of borrowing now.
WHAT YOU NEED TO READ

Click here to read the Tampa Bay Times voter guide, which will give you a breakdown of many of the 2018 races.

Follow @CTBowen2 for the latest on the Pasco bond referendums.

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