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Residents asked to skip a week of watering

News and notes from Pasco County
Pasco County community news [TMCCARTY80  |  Tara McCarty]
Pasco County community news [TMCCARTY80 | Tara McCarty]
Published Jan. 13


County offices close for holiday

Pasco County Government offices, including the constitutional offices and the courts, will be closed Jan. 20 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All county libraries will be closed. The Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office will be closed Jan. 18 and Jan. 20. All government offices and the courts will reopen Jan. 21.

The Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources’ offices, recreation complexes and community centers will be closed; however, the parks and beaches will remain openfrom dawn to dusk. The Pasco County Animal Services administration office, adoption center, intake/reclaim shelter and field services will be closed; an Animal Control Officer will be available for emergencies only. Pasco County Public Transportation will be open; administrative offices will be closed to walk-in customers, but phone lines will be open.

The Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility, West Pasco Class III, and the East Pasco Transfer Station will be closed to the public, but open to Pasco County licensed commercial haulers.

Residents asked to conserve on irrigation

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is reminding residents who irrigate their lawns to “skip a week” or more of watering during the cooler months of January and February.

According to research by the University of Florida, grass does not need to be watered as often during the cooler months; one-half to three-quarters of an inch of water every 10 to 14 days is sufficient. Grass needs water when the grass blades are folded on at least one-third of the yard, when grass blades appear blue-gray and when grass blades do not spring back, leaving footprints on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

Reducing watering will help conserve drinking water supplies for critical uses during the dry season. For information about water conservation, visit the district’s website at

County adopts new FEMA flood maps

Pasco County Floodplain Management encourages property owners to use its interactive, online tool to find out how proposed flood hazard data contained in the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps could impact their property. The new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance rate maps go into effect June 5.

Rate maps identify flood hazards throughout the county and help determine flood insurance rates. To view the new maps, visit

Homeowners are encouraged to contact their insurance agents to determine if the new maps affect their flood insurance premiums. Pasco County recommends that all new construction and substantial improvements meet the higher base flood elevation shown on the preliminary rate map and flood insurance study report, if applicable.

To learn more, visit Visit the Pasco County Flood Plain Management website at


‘Moonlight’ concerts to benefit arts

The Heritage Arts Center Association will present the 23rd-annual “Moonlight and Ivory” concerts at 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Dade City Woman’s Club, 37922 Palm Ave. The concerts include local musicians performing in a variety of styles. An art show is included with both performances. It will follow the matinee concert and precede the evening concert at 7 p.m.

Last year’s scholarship winner, singer Zachary D’onofrio, will perform. Last year’s art scholarship winner, Shelby Surratt, will have works included in the art show. The event will feature musicians and artists of all ages.

Refreshments will be served during intermission. Proceeds will benefit the arts in the area, including two $1,000 scholarships (one in the performing arts and the other in the visual arts).

Tickets are $15 for the matinee and $25 for the evening show and may be purchased at the Dade City Chamber of Commerce, American Eagle Antiques in Dade City, online at or by contacting Jessica Werckman at (561) 400-1404 or, or Shirley Surratt at (352) 424-0693.

Changes made to downtown roadwork plans

Citing pedestrian and vendor safety, the Dade City commissioners unanimously approved temporarily paving Pasco Avenue before to the annual Kumquat Festival, held Jan. 25 throughout downtown Dade City. To minimize physical and fiscal impacts for the city and its merchants, city administration and the contractor, Kamminga & Roodvoets Construction, revised the construction schedule and planned street closures.

After the Kumquat Festival, Seventh Street will be closed between Church and Pasco avenues for approximately one month to complete construction of the stormwater improvements and provide a staging area for equipment and materials. Pasco Avenue will remain open to two-way traffic between Seventh and Fifth streets until water main construction begins (anticipated to start in March). This revised plan minimizes construction damage to Pasco Avenue.

While Seventh Street is closed, in addition to the on-street parking available in the surrounding blocks, customers can use the city’s public parking areas on Eighth Street and Pasco Avenue, as well as Bank of America and the former site for San Antonio Credit Union on Church Avenue.

For details and updates on the project, visit For information on the Kumquat Festival, visit


Final registration for Knights youth baseball

The Knights of Columbus 10377 Sports League will conduct its final 2020 baseball season registration from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 at Saint Michael. The Archangel Catholic Church, 8014 State Road 52. There is no paper registration; parents must sign their children up online prior to coming to registration at

Divisions include T-ball for ages 4-5, Minors for ages 6-8, Majors for ages 9-11 and Seniors for ages 12-15 (based on ages as of May 9). A 10-game season will be played on Saturdays, starting Feb. 22. Games will be at Veterans Memorial Park on Hicks Road.

The registration fee is $60, which includes uniform shirt, pants, hat and socks. Fees must be paid in person at registration, cash or checks only.

There is a limit on coach requests to no more than seven per team, taken on a first-come, first-served basis (in person). Team size is limited. For information, email to


SHINE volunteers needed for Medicare education

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas is seeking individuals to become volunteers with the SHINE program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders). A volunteer orientation will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 29 at the Agency office at 4111 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.

SHINE is a statewide volunteer program offering seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers free, unbiased counseling on Medicare and health insurance. SHINE volunteers are not affiliated with any insurance company and do not sell insurance, but assist seniors in making informed healthcare decisions.

To learn more, call (727) 570-9696, ext. 234, or visit to complete an application.

Bilingual volunteers are needed. To learn more, call (727) 570-9696, ext. 234, or visit to complete an application.


Arts council classes begins in February

The Pasco Fine Arts Council is accepting registrations for class sessions beginning the week of Feb. 11. A variety of classes will be offered, including an evening class, Life Drawing, with Ernesto Blanco.

For a list of classes or to register visit the website at, call (727) 845-7322, or stop by at the Pasco Arts Center between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. The center is at 4145 Fairford Ave.


Musicale plans an evening of music

The Thursday Musicale will present “A Little Night of Music” from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Timber Oaks Clubhouse, 8425 Ponderosa Ave. The evening will include songs performed by the Thursday Musicale, a women’s chorus, as well as John Timpanelli and the Tin Pan Alley Players.

Tickets to the event are $16. Funds raised will benefit scholarships provided to local high school students. For tickets and information, contact Carol Sampson at (727) 861-7684, or Sheila Kotter at (727) 514-4076.


Talent ‘spotlight’ taking entries

Applications are now being accepted for the 37th-annual “Spotlight on Talent” competition. The event is organized by the Heritage Arts Center Association and is open to students through 12th grade. More than $4,000 in cash prizes and awards will be given, as well as a $1,000 scholarship to a Pasco County graduating senior.

All types of talents and performers are welcome. The deadline to enter is Jan. 23. Applications are available online, at area schools, Chambers of Commerce and music and dance studios. Auditions will be Feb. 8. Final shows will be March 7 at Wesley Chapel High School. For details or to register, visit, email or call (352) 567-1720.


RV resort hosts annual quilt show

The quilters of Leisure Days RV Resort will host their 15th-annual quilt show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at 34533 Leisure Days Drive (on Morris Bridge Road, at State Road 54).

Visitors will have a chance to view quilts created by individual quilters, wall hangings and specialty quilts from family treasures. Admission is $5. For details, contact Shelly at (613) 777-5490.


  1. More than 44 percent of people who searched on for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  2. The New Port Richey Community Redevelopment Agency agreed to a deal that will bring a Keiser University campus to the city's gateway. [New Port Richey]
    The city agreed to buy properties at U.S. 19 and Main Street. A developer will build a new Keiser University campus and possibly a hotel.
  3. Rooker Properties of Atlanta plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of industrial and office space at what is now county-owned  land on Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Pictured is Rooker's Spartan Ridge Logistics Center, a 273,000-square-foot, Class-A industrial building in Spartanburg, S.C. It was constructed in 2018 and the company said the buildings planned for the Pasco County site will closely resemble this. [Rooker Properties]
    Rick Narkiewicz is seeking tenants for the planned Rooker Properties spec buildings known as North Tampa 75 Business Center.
  4. In his years as a state lawmaker and legislative leader on education issues, John Legg, a charter school operator, pushed for better funding for charters. Now his charter school, Dayspring Academy in Pasco County, won't benefit from a new law that shares state capital funding with charters. Legg left the state Senate last year. [SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES]

    Former lawmaker John Legg won’t rule out running against two-term incumbent Kurt Browning.
  5. This home in Colonial Hills neighborhood in west Pasco has been vacant for 10 years, neighbors said. A new Pasco County ordinance would require the owners of vacant and rental residences to register their properties with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. [C.T. BOWEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A new ordinance is supposed to aid sheriff’s deputies and code-enforcement officers dealing with rental or vacant properties.
  6. Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley, middle, looks over an absentee ballot.
    A nonprofit is mailing millions of voter registration forms to Floridians this month in hopes of getting people on voter rolls in time for the 2020 election. Pasco’s supervisor of elections issued an...
  7. Members of the community march down Pine Hill Road from the Union Baptist Church to the African American Club of Pasco, as part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event held Jan. 20. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    The African American Club of Pasco holds annual MLK march and gathering.
  8. Jaclyn Campbell, 23, left, braves the cold temperatures while walking with her colleague Tysjah Pitchford during their lunch break in downtown Tampa in December. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    Temperatures Tuesday reached the 30s for the first time since 2018. Wednesday will start there, too.
  9. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
    The motorcyclist pulled into the path of a Ford F-150 pickup truck, according to the according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  10. Times
The family of Dania Vizzi of Odessa, is suing Pasco County over a disputed skeet-shooting range in Darby. Vizzi, above, is an Olympic hopeful and won a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan-American Games. [TIMES  |  (2017)]
    The Vizzi family sues Pasco County to maintain skeet shooting range over neighbors’ objections.