The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) decided to defer their decision until November 15, 2019 to ask the State Legislature for County Line Road improvement funding until the board and staff can speak to their Pasco county counterparts about their contribution to the project, since Pasco County borders the roadway to the south.
The requested $21,201,510.00 is slated for the design and right-of-way acquisition before actual construction to widen County Line Road from East Road to Shady Hills Road. The county’s match is expected to be $1,000,000, obtained from gas tax and impact fees for District 4 roads, although the possibility exists that impact fees will not need to be limited to the district in which the project takes place.
Commissioner John Allocco expressed concern that County Line roadway projects have usually fallen on Hernando county, and Pasco county has not made the projects a priority. Regarding the amount of funding required for design and preparation, Allocco said, “So we’re looking at spending close to $17 million of money (to be) appropriated for Hernando county going to buy property on the Pasco side (to acquire the right-of-way). Think about that. They’ve got to make it a priority on their side.”
Commissioner Steve Champion agreed, and said that Hernando has spent “untold millions” and would like to see Pasco do their part in spearheading this portion of the project. Champion also suggested that there could be other projects demanding more immediate attention for which the county could use the funding.
Pasco County residents of Heritage Pines submitted 230 signatures on a petition organized by Richard Rager, submitted it to both Pasco and Hernando commissioners.
“The challenge is -- if we leave it to Pasco, it will sit.” Commissioner John Mitten said, though expressing agreement that prioritization should be considered, he also noted that there are other important projects pending, such as a wastewater treatment plan upgrade.
Should the Florida Legislature approve the funding, it would not be available until after July 2020, at which time it would be incorporated in the budget funding the roadway in October 2020.