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New Port Richey restricts watering

Following the lead of the county and some bay area neighbors, the city limits lawn watering to once a week.

By BETH GLENN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- New Port Richey residents will have to adhere to the same water restrictions as county residents.

An emergency measure passed late Tuesday night by the City Council restricts lawn watering to one day a week. Residents of homes with even-numbered addresses can water yards on Tuesdays, while residents with odd-numbered addresses can water only on Sundays.

The ordinance mirrors the one passed by other members of Tampa Bay Water, the regional authority formed to regulate the water supply in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

The city of Tampa and Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties already have reduced the number of days per week that residents can water to one.

New Port Richey's City Council passed on second reading an ordinance allowing murals to be painted on buildings downtown. The mural ordinance is designed to beautify the downtown district but restricts the inclusion of advertisements in the pictures.

Council members also agreed to buy two houses near the intersection of Allamanda Drive and Marine Parkway, in hopes of alleviating street and ditch flooding. Council members asked consulting engineers to revise earlier plans that would have required the purchase or taking by eminent domain of five houses north of Marine Parkway. That previous plan would have cured flooding in both roads and ditches. The new plan addresses only road flooding by buying one house south of Marine Parkway.

But homeowners on the north side had been in limbo about the fate of their homes until the city offered to purchase them for the value of a city-financed appraisal. Only one northern homeowner agreed to sell for that price. The council's action gave the city permission to purchase the southern house and one of the northern ones while continuing negotiations for the four houses whose owners are holding out for more than the appraised value.

Council members also agreed to place a memorial in the City Hall courtyard for City Clerk June Bottner, who died two weeks ago. Council member Tom Finn suggested a plaque or other memorial at a service held in City Hall last week. Mayor Pete Altman also suggested that the contents of a time capsule be incorporated in the memorial somehow.

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