Today's Letters: Retail area would boost downtown

Published April 13, 2007

Well the election is over so I guess it's time to start the debate again about Main Street Landing and the Hacienda.

Regarding the Main Street Landing project, I was under the impression that the developer was an experienced businessman. So than how did he manage to under finance that project so badly, did he not take into consideration inflation and material cost increases? I've been around some construction in my past and I've never seen a project so badly laid out financially. What, they just woke up one day and low and behold prices went up? They didn't notice this. Where were they, on vacation?

So let's fix it. How about a retail complex complete with shops and restaurants. Add to that an open air pavilion where live music on the weekends can help bring in customers to the downtown area. Also, a fully operational marina could be added, with areas open to the public and for private use. Possibly even a small tourist boat to help with the cash flow. On any given summer evening many people might enjoy a trip up and down the river area.

The above would help with anyone looking toward bringing back the Hacienda as a full service hotel. What could be more enjoyable for a stay: live music and river boat cruises? The marina and hotel could join in the enterprise. All of the downtown area would benefit. We might even see people out and about on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Anyway, my congratulations to the newly elected and incumbent City Council members. Best of luck for the next two years.

William R. Liska, New Port Richey


Where is money coming from?

It seems that Main Street Landings is going to be the big political ball that New Port Richey City Council will have to bounce around. What our elected officials seem to forget is that it was not Mr. McGurn but Mr. Altman who suggested the Community Development District and pushed it with a display of red shirts at a City Council meeting.

Should the council adopt a CDD for Main Street Landings, what impact will this have on the taxpayers of this city? Will they be willing to give up 23 years of taxes to support this project? What taxes will the city realize or will the developers get all the taxes/profits?

My suggestion is to meet with the developers of Main Street Landings and ask what they have done to obtain any future money to finance their project. Or are they anticipating the taxpayers will bail them out? I do not think the taxpayers should have that responsibility.

Since the library is looking to expand, close your eyes and visualize this: you drive into downtown New Port Richey for the first time. What will be the first thing you will see? A beautiful state of the art building with two stories, maybe three. In the front of the building will be a sign that reads, City of New Port Richey Public Library (instead of the concrete debacle named Main Street Landings).

There would be plenty of parking and a fantastic view of the river and of Sims Park. There could be benches along the river where people could have their lunch, relax and then resume their meetings in the state of the art library. Wow!

Justin Billings, New Port Richey


Development destroys county

The 12-mile trip from Zephyrhills to Interstate 75 via State Road 54 used to take about 20 minutes at most; now it takes twice as long. Add in the snowbird factor during half the year and you have a never-ending traffic jam.

Two of the major routes to and from Zephyrhills are Morris Bridge Road and SR 54, once peaceful drives through beautiful scenery. Now both are becoming clogged with pretentious entries leading to housing projects full of tacky looking cookie cutter houses.

In addition to woefully inadequate roads, the schools are overcrowded and understaffed and most other public services are way behind the rate of population increases.

Every day we are bombarded with news of the ever-decreasing supply of water. Where will the water come from to support the enormous and ever-increasing population?

Shouldn't we be weighing the economic benefits of an increased population against the fact that the county continues to become a less desirable place to live? The charm and beauty of Pasco are being replaced by concrete and asphalt.

It seems to me that whenever the County Commission considers yet another housing project or commercial venture, the members see nothing but an increase in the tax base. It's time they started thinking of the long-term consequences to the environment and the already overtaxed infrastructure. Until the commission learns to say no to the grab-the-money-and-run developers, the destruction of Pasco County will go on unabated.

Gerald Barnes, Zephyrhills


War injury hampered salute

During the Chasco Fiesta boat parade, I appreciated the many salutes and salutations that I received from the spectators. In World War II, I had my right shoulder destroyed by shrapnel from a kamikaze plane, and my right arm had to be fused to my shoulder blade. This resulted in my right arm being 4 inches shorter than my left arm, allowing only limited mobility in the right. Consequently, I am unable to return a proper salute.

Accept my sincere apologies for not properly returning your many salutes and salutations, it was not intended as a slight.

Walter J. Mallett Sr., Port Richey


Candidate thanks supporters

I wanted to say thank you to all the people who helped and supported me during my first campaign.

This has been an amazing learning experience and my campaign manager Larry Disparti has helped me the whole way. It means a lot to have support from people who believe in the young leaders.

This election has been a wonderful opportunity for me to get acquainted with the great people in New Port Richey and to show them that young people do care.

I still hope to serve this fantastic city one day and represent the people who call New Port Richey home. New Port Richey is such a great place and I look forward to one day helping to make it even better.

Samantha Beckman, New Port Richey