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'Main street' idea hits a roadblock

Commissioners are reluctant to give the Land O'Lakes plan any money until the group returns with a formal structure.

By SAUNDRA AMRHEIN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 27, 2002

LAND O'LAKES -- A vision for Land O'Lakes has become blurred by dollar signs.

It calls for a town center, a "main street" atmosphere, treed walkways and a gated entrance to the community.

Representatives from the Heart of Land O'Lakes Planning Committee presented their ideas for a preserved past and guided future to the Pasco County Commission on Wednesday, suggesting that the county could use their plans as a model for other areas.

"We would like to be the prototype," suggested Joanne Hurley, co-chairwoman of the committee, which held numerous workshops last year.

The one thing they left out was how to pay for it all.

Heart of Land O'Lakes would like $30,000 from the county to keep beating. The money would pay for consultants and contractors so the group could move forward with the design of its plans.

Commissioner Peter Altman raised questions about who would receive and control the money or how the group would buy property and other infrastructure.

"To me, the idea we're going to help pay for a feasibility study without having identified any structure, who's going to pay for this, how they're going to handle it . . . to me, this is something that has to be addressed," Altman said.

Hurley said the group needed an initial $42,000 to move forward with the plan. After the county's contribution, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council would help raise the rest.

Commissioners, noting that the county gives $112,000 a year to the planning council, said they supported the group's efforts but wanted members to return with a more formalized structure, such as a community development district or redevelopment agency.

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