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Timber Oaks seek fix for long-time flooding

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For some two decades, flooding has exasperated homeowners in Timber Oaks, a Hudson-area subdivision.

But now subdivision leaders hope potential solutions might be on the horizon, possibly by converting some of the former golf course for flood-control fixes.

A Timber Oaks representative, Vicki Chellberg, has photos going as far back as 1994.

At that time, the back nine of the old golf course appeared like a lake. High water threatened Ranch and Ponderosa roads.

In 2012, high water on Benton Drive and Winding Wood Drive remained 35 days after rains stopped from Tropical Storm Debby. Flooding often crept uncomfortably close to homes.

Other communities often find themselves in the same boat as Timber Oaks. Several Trinity-area neighborhoods were hit particularly hard in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012 when high water closed or hindered sections of Little Road and S.R. 54.

Pasco County Office of Emergency Management invites West Pasco residents to comment at meetings Aug. 28 and Sept. 10 so the county and cities might be eligible for grants to pay for mitigation projects.

Grants to pay for stormwater management projects, buyout of properties repeatedly flooded and other improvements are an option.

The first session in West Pasco will take place 1:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Pasco Emergency Operations Center, 8744 Government Drive, Building A.

Another public event is set for 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, at South Holiday Branch Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Drive.

For information call (727) 847-8137.

An opportunity arose in Timber Oaks to address problems when the county agreed to buy the former golf course property.

The county has been “very, very cooperative,” Ellie Melilli, secretary of the homeowner association board, said. The county could help secure a more favorable interest rate.

“We’re at the bottom of the fish bowl,” Chellberg said about the community’s flooding problems.

Fixes now might hinge upon potential funding from Southwest Florida Water Management District, announced in February, Chellberg explained.

Failing that, Chellberg added, residents might consider special assessments on themselves to try to get a handle on chronic flooding.

“We have to do something anyway,” Chellberg commented. “The (former) golf course is becoming deplorable. We have coyotes living on it.”

The assessments could take the form of a municipal services taxing unit for 20 years on 2,000 homes. The MSTU assessments would appear on tax bills. In a “worst-case scenario,” Chellberg said, the charge might amount to $111 a year per homeowner.

The residents are still hoping for legislative help as well.

“There’s so much that has to happen,” Chellberg said about golf course contract negotiations and then flood-control designs. “We’re not home free.”

corth@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1068

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