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Planned growth is good for area

Published February 8, 2007


I am a small-business owner in Hernando County. I am proud of my business and proud to be a resident of a beautiful county that offers plenty of opportunities.

The county's population has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, which has been great for our local economy by providing jobs. I realize there are some residents who do not see population growth as a positive because Hernando was previously considered a rural county. However, if growth is properly planned and managed, then it need not be considered a negative. We must plan for growth because it is coming.

For example, by planning for and determining how to fund the transportation improvements necessary to accommodate future growth, we can head off traffic snarls before they happen and before this traffic curtails business opportunity in growth corridors.

With the increase in the cost of transportation improvements, we cannot expect the existing residents and businesses to ante up to pad county budgets to pay for those improvements. The capital costs must be borne by the growth that is coming; the burden to pay their way must fall on development that is properly planned. We also must receive the benefit prior to the impact.

Developers with a commitment to work with county planners to resolve the infrastructure issues need to be praised, not scorned. Sierra Properties has presented to our county a plan that represents a model for responsible growth. It is the Hickory Hill subdivision.

There are some who claim the economic benefits are misleading and the merits of the project are smoke and mirrors. I suspect those who make those accusations have not thoroughly looked into the successful reputation of this company and the benefits their projects have brought to the respective communities they have become a part of. I challenge those naysayers to bring the proof to support their claims.

As for me and my business, I look forward to developers like Sierra Properties and projects like Hickory Hill continuing to view Hernando County as an opportunity for economic expansion. This type of development is a benefit to the local economy, to educational enhancement and to our future generations.

John Albert, Weeki Wachee

Read fine print on sinkhole coverage

Drop it now, you never get it again.

With the proposed rate reductions of the sinkhole bill, please carefully think what you are about to do.

On the application form (draft form) that lets you opt out of sinkhole coverage to get your huge proposed savings, please note this: If you opt out of your sinkhole coverage, you will no longer have the opportunity to get future sinkhole coverage back. It is gone forever.

The check box states it this way:

"I also understand this rejection of sinkhole coverage shall apply to future renewals of my policy."

This is on the proposed draft of the sinkhole rules coming from the Office of Insurance Regulation. You can see the 43-page draft on

Before you sign your name, remember you are the one that might be in the (sink) hole.

Chris Kowalczyk, Hudson

Quit stalling and build public pool

I do not know if I am considered a visionary at my age, but bear with me if you will.

I have lived in Hernando County for 50 years and for most of that time I have seen the need for a public swimming pool. At the beginning there was only one and it was near Ridge Manor at Whispering Oak Country Club. I had moved here from Pinellas County. Even at that time, pools were abundant in other counties. Priorities were in place in counties at a local level.

As years went by, I saw pools were placed in Sumter and Citrus counties. I still had hopes Hernando County would follow.

Then the YMCA came into play with its pool. Country clubs built their pools. Swimming teams were formed in the schools as the population increased, but still no plans for a community pool.

Now I am beginning to see a light once again. There is a growing interest in youth and adults alike to support a pool in Hernando County. I hope I am right.

I am fully in favor of seeing one built. Goodness knows we have the weather to fully utilize one.

I have visions of the city, county and School Board all working as a partnership. Is that an impossible dream?

My children and grandchildren say I am too impatient, but I say 50 years is long enough. What do you think?

Come on, Hernando County, do not let me be a majority of one. Let's get behind this project and let us have something all of us can use and enjoy!

Julia Jinkens, Brooksville

[Last modified February 8, 2007, 06:38:08]

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