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Wall-to-wall Wal-Marts on U.S. 19 are unacceptable

Published September 29, 2003

Editor: I am against Wal-Mart's plan to build more supercenters along U.S. 19 corridor because of the traffic problems and public safety issue now being experienced at the Port Richey Wal-Mart Supercenter and at the Spring Hill Wal-Mart. We do not wish to have this experience repeated at the proposed Bayonet Point Wal-Mart.

There is no way that U.S. 19 in the Bayonet Point/Hudson area can handle an additional 5,000 to 10,000 car trips daily to this proposed location.

We will not accept these consequences as just a byproduct of progress.

-- Florence Fogarty, Bayonet Point

New communities add to U.S. 19 traffic

Editor: It is time for Pasco County residents to stop assuming what Wal-Mart's effects will be when and if they open their doors in one of our communities. The most repeated complaint is that a Wal-Mart will wreak havoc with U.S. 19 traffic.

Instead of bashing commercial construction continuously, stop residential building. Most single-family dwellings will have two cars, if not more. Every time another community opens, that puts a minimum of 1,600 cars on the already treacherous U.S. 19.

These stores will not create more traffic, but will help alleviate the problems that you all say are at the already existing stores. Instead of being able to go less than a mile to shop at Wal-Mart, I now have to become part of the traffic almost 8 miles from my house. Had the Holiday store been allowed to go, I would have been part of the solution, but instead, I am still part of the problem.

Progress is an ongoing process. Shame on those of you who are being so narrow minded that you feel compelled to suppress progress.

-- Diane Granado, New Port Richey

Store would remove eyesore

Editor: I am a resident who lives outside of the confines of Beacon Woods. The proposed Wal-Mart in Hudson is a very good idea.

It would finally alleviate the terrible sight of that rundown mall that has been an eyesore for more than a decade. I can't imagine that a Wal-Mart would drive property values down anymore than a dilapidated structure like that.

A new Wal-Mart would create many needed jobs. Not only does the Wal-Mart need employees, but usually other businesses follow, creating even further job possibilities. I realize that some of the elderly would like to keep everything quiet and lifeless, but some of us aren't elderly and retired. Some of us are hard-working young people who don't want to have to drive all the way down to Ridge Road to go to the store.

We all pay taxes. It's time to realize that Pasco County is not just a retirement haven any more. It's time to realize that people outside of Beacon Woods have an opinion. I welcome the Wal-Mart. When it is built, I bet at least half of the people opposed to it will use it as their primary store.

-- Neil French, Port Richey

Plan would disrupt neighborhood

Editor: I have been a resident of Beacon Woods for several years and I have enjoyed living here. I am very much afraid that if Wal-Mart is allowed to build a bridge across Bear Creek to connect their proposed supercenter at the Bayonet Point Mall to Beacon Woods Drive, it will drastically change the quality of life not only for residents of Beacon Woods but also for residents in the surrounding area.

-- Aimee Stewart, Bayonet Point

New Wal-mart will benefit community

Editor: Why is it that there is such opposition every time a Wal-Mart store is proposed? I have been in several parts of the country and each time there is an announcement of a Wal-Mart to be built, certain groups go up in arms. It's time the other side spoke.

Wal-Mart goes out of their way to build better roads to access the parking areas and have traffic flow safely at its expense. That seems to be one of the cries of the opposing groups. Then after Wal-Mart has finally gone through all the legal hoops, other smaller businesses come on board in the same shopping area and enjoy the benefits.

Wal-Mart is truly community minded, helping local groups with fundraisers such as Girl Scouts, local bake sales for worthy causes, etc. It gives local entrepreneurs a place to sell their products. Its employees are hired with the thought in mind that they will treat the customers with the greatest respect. They treat them as honored guests, which in reality they are. I think that is one of the keys to their success. People like to feel welcome, not intruders.

I noticed that some of the employees have handicaps or are seniors, but there is a place for them as greeters and other jobs that give let them feel useful and have some dignity.

There is another store about 5 miles away. Driving down U.S. 19 at any hour is a hazard. What is wrong to have a store that carries most everything, closer to us? I can't wait and wish it luck.

-- Faye Scissom, Bayonet Point

Proposal is environmental disaster

Editor: Beacon Woods, as you are well aware, is a pristine living community that embraces the natural environment. Our roads are not straight and true, but instead follow the contours of the land and retain the natural habitats for many species of birds and wildlife. Every day, our residents walk the streets of our community, both for exercise and to appreciate our natural surroundings.

A proposed bridge across Bear Creek would impact all environmental problems such as car exhaust and water pollution. Noise and safety concerns are also critical.

-- Gertrude Sturgill, Bayonet Point

Overtaxing drives away residents

Re: Avoiding tab for services undermines our society, Sept. 17 letter

Editor: The letter referenced me not wanting to pay for street lights is only one issue. You are completely unaware about what is going on in the city of New Port Richey as you do not live here.

Do you pay 15 percent of your Progress Energy bill back to your city plus at least 10 percent of all other bills that you get? (i.e. cable, satellite TV, cell phone, regular phone etc.).

Has your water bill increased by 24 percent the first year and will go up 4 percent each following year until it reaches 40 percent? Has your city purchased an old hotel/house of ill repute and the city doesn't know what it is going to do with it? Do you pay a water runoff fee? That's rainwater.

Is your city going to build a walkway under a bridge to accommodate a business? Is your city talking about building a three-tier garage? Is your city using the Community Redevelopment Agency money to accomplish all this or are they putting this money back into the communities?

Did your city buy a lot of new vehicles plus a $270,000 new fire truck?

Before writing derogatory statements about people leaving the city of New Port Richey, the writer should get her facts and figures correct.

The city of New Port Richey is accomplishing what it set out to do. That's using overtaxation to get rid of all residents on fixed incomes. Is the writer's city doing that?

Why doesn't she sell her nice home in Port Richey and move into the blighted/slum of the city of New Port Richey?

There are plenty of homes for sale.

-- Richard Scholl, Spring Hill

New Port Richey residents pay fair share

Re: Avoiding tab for services undermines our society, Sept. 17 letter

Editor: Someone needs to tell the letter writer and the New Port Richey City Council and their advisers that New Port Richey residents pay their fair share of taxes to the city and the county.

Our city millage is 6.25 and is going to increase.

Along with our regular city taxes, we pay 15 percent plus of our Progress Energy bill back to our city plus at least 10 percent of all other bills that we get, such as cable television and telephone service.

Our water bill has increased by 24 percent the first year and will increase 4 percent each following year until it reaches 40 percent.

We also pay a fee of $40 a year for water runoff. That's rainwater running off your property.

What we expect for our taxes is fire and police protection. Our tax money is being used for frivolous or nonessential items including:

- Moved church, cost so far, more than $250,000 and rising.

- Cavalier Park, more than $330,000, with no seats, no water wall, no farmers market.

- Main Street Bridge, no use by trucks due to the ornamental cement blocks weakening the structure.

- Purchase of the Grey Preserve.

- The cost of consultants for fire safety and street lights, recreation center expansion and possible garage structure.

- The cost of redevelopment manager, salary and benefits.

So if the letter writer feels so strongly about paying fair shares, please, buy a home in the city of New Port Richey and join all of us who are now paying and will continue to pay.

There are a lot of homes and condos available.

-- Margaret H. Billings, New Port Richey
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