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City Hall is back in business at interim site

Port Richey officials leave town, but not by much, while a new City Hall is planned and constructed.

By MATTHEW WAITE

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2000


PORT RICHEY -- With the tap of a gavel from the mayor, Port Richey started its first council meeting in its new home Tuesday night.

Port Richey's city government, in less than a week, picked up everything and moved it about a mile down Ridge Road to a temporary home while a new City Hall is built near where the old one sits now.

Plans for a new City Hall are in the works, city officials said, and for the next year and a half, City Hall will actually be outside the city. The new offices are in a shopping plaza next to Publix at Congress Street and Ridge Road.

City Manager Vince Lupo, his own office filled with half-unpacked boxes, on Tuesday said the move was complete, but unpacking and settling in was still going on. He said the move went smoothly.

The move was done in phases, he said. First to go were the building and finance departments. The second group was administration, and last were the council chambers and the utility department.

The one problem they had was moving the phone system, Lupo said. The city didn't buy new phones, so they had to be moved -- meaning they were off the hook for about 36 hours.

Callers to city hall during that day and a half were sent to the city's voice mail. Lupo said callers were understanding.

"The people of Port Richey have been their usual gracious selves," he said.

- Staff writer Matthew Waite can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6247 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6247. His e-mail address is waite@sptimes.com.

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