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NPR leaders advocate better access for Grey Preserve

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With a five-year capital improvements plan taking shape, New Port Richey City Council members expressed preferences Tuesday night on projects they would give high priority in the coming fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The small section of Plathe Road west of Rowan Road is in such bad shape that it discourages visitors to Grey Preserve, according to Mayor Rob Marlowe.

Plathe Road is almost impassable to the main entrance of the 80-acre preserve, Marlowe remarked.

The city is talking to Pasco County, which currently owns that section of Plathe, City Manager Debbie Manns said. The city might take over ownership of the street in order to make improvements.

Some money already is earmarked in the budget for a potential Plathe Road paving project, city staff added.

Problems cropped up with traffic counters along gravel sections of the road, staff reported. They will try again to determine the number of vehicles over a week.

The condition of Congress Street worries Councilman Chopper Davis. “It’s not going to last,” Davis said.

Pinehill Park, the home of the West Pasco Little League at 6220 Pine Hill Road, cries out for improvements, Davis said. The 9.59-acre park as “still a field of dreams 20 years after everyone left,” he said.

The city could buy an adjacent lot to the field to expand parking or amenities, Davis suggested.

A central fire station also appears among capital improvements. Councilman Bill Phillips wants the city to make the construction project “shovel ready” with site preparations before the city learns if the project qualifies for Penny for Pasco financing.

Other grants also could help pay the estimated $3.1 million set aside over five years for the fire station.

The second decade of the Penny for Pasco special sales tax starts in January, so some projects will hinge upon the source of revenue with different priorities.

Already in the pipeline, restoration of the vacant Hacienda hotel, which received a $1 million state grant in recent months.

corth@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1068

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