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Touting recovery, NPR launches pride offensive

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Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM

NEW PORT RICHEY — Good news travels fast, city officials were hoping as they launched a community pride campaign this week.

The logo “I Am New Port Richey” was unveiled by Lisa Fierce, the city’s development director. The design includes emblems of the sun and the outline of the historic Hacienda hotel.

T-shirts bearing the logo will be available for sale at Chasco Fiesta this weekend and at city hall.

Some spectators at the Chasco Fiesta street parade could get free T-shirts as city officials gently toss some of the collectible garments from the New Port Richey float.

After several years of dent and other money woes during the recession, the city’s financial condition seems to be turning a corner, Fierce said at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Preliminary audit results show a surplus of about $1.33 million in the city’s general fund for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013, according to a memo from Peter Altman, finance and human resources director.

“We’re in a renaissance phase in the city of New Port Richey,” Fierce declared. “The days of doom and gloom are over. There’s a new energy in the city.”

The positive factors she cited included:

• The return of developers.

• Efforts to clean up and redevelop the former Hacienda Hotel building.

• The Pasco Economic Development Council’s planned business incubator in the former post office building.

• Work on a Sims Park master plan.

• Return of the Cotee River Bike Fest after a one-year absence.

• Stepped-up code enforcement.”

“The city is in a great place and moving forward,” Fierce said, quoting Mayor Bob Consalvo.

City officials wondered how to build pride and spirit among residents “to take ownership of its future and its success.” The city will ask local organizations and businesses to incorporate the theme into their marketing.

The city might appeal on its website for residents to submit their stories about why they like New Port Richey, “their love stories, if you will, about the city.”

The slogan also could appear on other merchandise, such as license plate covers, insulated cups and static-cling decals for windows.

“So next year, after you hire a … public information officer — hint, hint, wink, wink — this campaign might take many different paths,” Fierce said. “But we think this is a good, first step in the right direction.”

“This is great,” Consalvo commented. He applauded the good attitude of city employees.

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