Despite loss of federal funds, Tarpon Springs officials confident dredging project will continue

The money promised to the city went instead to hurricane relief
Federal funding for the Anclote River Dredge Project has been rerouted to hurricane relief efforts in the panhandle, according to officials, who still hold out hope there won?t be any delays to the multi-agency effort. [JEFF ROSENFIELD | Special to the  Times]
Federal funding for the Anclote River Dredge Project has been rerouted to hurricane relief efforts in the panhandle, according to officials, who still hold out hope there won?t be any delays to the multi-agency effort. [JEFF ROSENFIELD | Special to the Times]
Published April 11

TARPON SPRINGS — Despite assurances that federal money for dredging the Anclote River will still becoming, city officials are concerned.

“I am very, very unhappy with what’s going on, losing the funding for the project,” Mayor Chris Alahouzos said during a recent City Commission meeting. “But the project won’t stop.”

Last summer, Tarpon Springs officials were thrilled to learn the federal government had allocated $3 million for the city’s Anclote River Dredge Project, putting the final piece of funding in place for the multi-agency effort to restore the channel, and its main turning basin, to normal depths.

However, last month they were told the money earmarked for the project had been rerouted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hurricane relief efforts in the Panhandle.

“There are three tiers of projects, and Anclote was a tier three project,” Summer Robertson, spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor. Robertson said an emergency funding package was scheduled to be voted on soon, which was expected to replenish the funding for tier three projects.

Alahouzos noted the design and permitting phase of the project would continue to move forward using $300,000 contributed to the project by the county.

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