Tampa Bay local projects in line for legislative largesse

A decorated Bulls cap is shown during the University of South Florida St. Petersburg fall 2013 Commencement Convocation at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Dec. 15. USF St. Petersburg is set to get $10 million for a new building for the College of Business under the state budget.
A decorated Bulls cap is shown during the University of South Florida St. Petersburg fall 2013 Commencement Convocation at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Dec. 15. USF St. Petersburg is set to get $10 million for a new building for the College of Business under the state budget.
Published May 2, 2014


The $77.1 billion budget that lawmakers will vote on tonight is studded with hometown projects, the first time this has happened in an election year since 2006.

Often called "turkeys,'' they're also a mark of legislative influence. Tampa Bay, led by a delegation of powerful lawmakers that include Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, will see a healthy crop of hometown spending, a contrast to years of recession-pinched spending plans.

There is $10 million for a Pasco-Hernando College performing arts center in Weatherford's district. Another $10 million for a new USF College of Business in St. Petersburg. In Tampa, USF Health projects are listed for $20 million in funding.

"This is a budget with $3 billion in reserves, that's the most we've had in quite some time" said Weatherford. "So yes, there are some projects in there, some discretionary spending by the Legislature on things we've deemed to be important."

The budget isn't official until Gov. Rick Scott signs it. Last year, he trimmed more than 150 local projects. But he, too, faces re-election, and he might be less inclined to ruffle the feathers and loyalty of fellow Republicans.

Tampa Bay's share

Here are the local projects House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed to for Tampa Bay area counties, with details where available.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg. New building for the College of Business$10 million
St. Petersburg College Bay Pines Marine Science labs/classrooms$2.5 million
All Children's Hospital/Johns Hopkins Pediatric Research Zone$2 million
City of St. Petersburg for Agenda 2020 antipoverty plan$1.625 million
Tarpon Springs Superfund site redevelopment: dredging, wharf stabilization and road improvements at the 130-acre former site of the Stauffer Chemical plant$2.5 million
City of Oldsmar: construction of a BMX supercross track to attract Olympic-level athletes$1.27 million
Largo Cultural Center. New roof and other improvements$500,000
Palm Harbor Historical Society Museum. Improvements and building a ladder factory replica$387,753
Dunedin Fine Art Center Inc. expansion$500,000
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, for building a new downtown aquarium$2 million
Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center$500,000
Mahaffey Theater, for improvements to the St. Petersburg facility$500,000
Renovations to the Ponder House, a house on Ninth Avenue S owned by the Metropolitan Council of Negro Women and named after a late community leader$100,000
Pinellas Transportation Services — PARC Inc.$250,000
Louise Graham Regeneration Center Inc.$122,500
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition$150,000
Clearwater sanitary sewer expansion program$250,000


University of South Florida Heart Health Institute$15 million
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine$5 million
Tampa Jewish Center$4 million
Tampa Jewish Community and Federation Project$2 million
Tampa Family Health Centers$500,000
Ready4Work-Hillsborough re-entry program for ex-offenders$750,000
Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office Inc. (DACCO)$600,000
Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa Inc.$225,000
Sports Medicine and Athletic Related Trauma Institute (SMART) at USF for pilot program to screen and educate high school athletes on sickle cell trait$100,000
Museum of Science and Industry. Design and construction for STEAM showcase. STEAM adds an A — for arts — to an education philosophy stressing STEM —science, technology, engineering and math$2.5 million
Tampa Bay Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. The late baseball great's old house was moved to its current location and is becoming a museum$50,000
Tampa Bay History Center$115,572
Hillsborough Homelessness Initiative$800,000
Grow Tampa Bay Tech — Tampa Bay Technology Forum$375,000
Hillsborough County. Cypress Street outfall project$750,000
Tampa Bay Water Authority. Cypress Creek Wellfield Surface Water improvements$432,000
Tampa Bay Watrous Canal rehab project$375,000
Temple Terrace Parkway Extension — Telecom Parkway to Morris Bridge Road$600,000
Hillsborough County. East County Regional Service/Resource Center$500,000


Pasco Hernando State College: Performing arts education center and convention facility in Wesley Chapel$10 million
Pasco Regional STEM School/Tampa Bay Region Aeronautics. Expand aerospace career program and partner with Pinellas and Hillsborough schools and Tampa International Airport$1.5 million
Pasco Association of Challenged Kids Summer Camp$36,000
Lacoochee-Trilby Community Center. Programs for at-risk youth$200,000
Dade City. Hydrant and valve replacement$520,000
Dade City. Orange Valley well$713,000
Duck Slough drainage basin$200,000
Lacoochee/Trilby Water System improvements$500,000
Pasco County. Pithlachascotee-Anclote conservation effort$1 million
Zephyrhills. Fire protection water line$1.2 million
Metropolitan Ministries. Pasco County initiative$1 million
Hacienda Hotel restoration $1 million


Hernando County. Nature Coast Educational Plaza$3.5 million
West Hernando Little League field$50,000
Expand the services of the Pasco Health Department's Smile Care-A-Van to Hernando County$20,000.
BayCare Behavioral Health for an Urgent Family Care program in Hernando County$150,000


Tampa Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)$6,169,944
Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services' Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough$750,000
Tampa Bay Innovation Training Center Skills Initiative — Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties$1.15 million
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, using the existing 2-1-1 referral line to connect returning veterans and families living in the Tampa Bay region to social service and behavioral health programs$150,000.
YMCA Tech Smart. For Tampa Bay project$100,000