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City may buy old mobile home park
Port Richey officials will discuss buying the defunct trouble spot and improving the site.
By CAMILLE C. SPENCER, Times Staff Writer
Published November 27, 2007
City Council member Nancy Britton came up with the idea. The asking price is $799,000.
PORT RICHEY - Police and neighbors say drugs and prostitution plagued the Port Richey Mobile Home Park for years.
The 1.6-acre park was put up for sale in August 2006.
About six months later, residents cleared out, and crime eventually went down. But now, broken beer bottles and garbage mar the landscape at the park at River Gulf Road and Grand Boulevard near busy U.S. 19.
To improve the area's image, city officials have devised a plan: buy the park.
The City Council plans to discuss the idea tonight at a meeting of the Community Redevelopment Agency at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 6333 Ridge Road.
The idea to buy the park - for sale by Coldwell Banker's Wikle Properties for $799,000 - came from council member Nancy Britton, who organized a walk against crime at the park last year.
"It's been a problem in the city for a long time," Britton said. "I would like to pull out the trailers and clean up the area. Cut the trees back and open up the area a little bit."
Lt. David Brown of the Port Richey Police Department said, "We are quite glad it's closed down," he said. "It has taken a lot of headaches off of us. There was drug activity, prostitution, fights and alcohol-related criminal activity. It being empty has lessened the criminal activity in the neighborhood."
Judy Parisi has lived near the park for about six years. She said before residents moved out earlier this year, she witnessed people doing drugs there. Parisi said she wants city officials to brainstorm the building of something at the park's site that would improve the city's image.
"I think they should clear the property and go from there," she said. "Maybe little storefronts, like John's Pass."
Britton said she's eager to get the ball rolling at the blighted park. "We've gone forward and said, 'Yes, this is something we want to do,'" she said. "It's an important area that's a reflection on Port Richey."
In other city business, a lawsuit was filed Nov. 19 in Circuit Court against Port Richey and police Officer Patrick Alu.
Filed by Progressive Select Insurance Co. on behalf of Steve R. Jensen, the lawsuit says Alu was driving a city vehicle on Sept. 11, 2006, when he hit Jensen's vehicle near Leo Kidd Avenue and Siesta Lane. The company seeks $15,997.21 to cover damage to Jensen's vehicle.