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County issues proposed budgets for next fiscal year

County issues proposed budgets for next fiscal year

Pasco County, Florida -- Pasco County has issued its proposed operating and capital budgets for Fiscal Year 2011-12, deciding where and how money should be split between various county organizations.

Residents can view the proposed budget online.

Leave your comments below about whether you agree or disagree with the county's budgetary plans for the upcoming year.

Blue crab trap area closure set to end

Blue crab trap area closure set to end

Pasco County, FL -- The harvest of blue crabs from traps in all waters of Pasco County will reopen on July 20.

The use of traps to capture blue crabs was prohibited in this area for a 10-day period so that lost and abandoned traps that remained in coastal and inland waters could be identified and removed.

For more information on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and how you can participate in cleanup events, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater.”

Pasco County Commission implements mobility fee

Pasco County Commission implements mobility fee

Pasco County, Florida -- The Pasco County Board of County Commissioners established a new County Ordinance on Tuesday, July 12, replacing the County's former transportation impact fee with a mobility fee.

The Landmark Ordinance establishes Pasco County as a business and residential "friendly" destination.

For complete coverage on this decision click here.

USDA to pay minority farmers denied loans

USDA to pay minority farmers denied loans

Pasco County, Florida - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering payouts of up to $50,000 to minority farmers who were denied or delayed a farm loan because of their gender or ethnicity, costing them their land and crops.

A recent St. Petersburg Times article outlined the USDA's acknowledgement of discrimination and how it plans to rectify unjust loan practices. 

The USDA has announced a new program this year,  the Women and Hispanic Claims Program, urging all female and Hispanic farmers and ranchers who can demonstrate they were wronged or discriminated against between 1981 and 2000 to file a claim.

Mental health agency expands to Pasco, opens 10 new positions

Mental health agency expands to Pasco, opens 10 new positions

New Port Richey, Florida -- Directions for Mental Health is bringing its nationally accredited health care services to Pasco County and hiring 10 new positions. The agency, which has three offices in Pinellas County, will offer outpatient mental health services at its brand-new Pasco County office, located at 5642 Meadowlane Street in New Port Richey. The office will open for services on August 1st, and job applications are being accepted now. Open positions are in psychiatry and counseling.

Directions for Mental Health is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral health organizations in Pinellas County and will bring nearly 30 years of experience to Pasco County.

Directions currently employs over 220 staff and serves over 10,000 people each year. The agency expects to increase the number of individuals served by 20% over the next year with this expansion.

City to examine Cost Recovery Proposal for special events

City to examine Cost Recovery Proposal for special events

The New Port Richey City Council, at its regular meeting on July 5, 2011, will discuss utilization of the existing Special Events Advisory Committee to provide input on a recent staff proposal that would require special event organizers to pay the city for the cost of city services used by each event. 

Services include things such as public safety personnel, set-up and removal of parade barricades and equipment, cleaning of the parks and streets, utilities, material costs and other services provided by the Public Works and Parks Departments.   

The proposal was brought forward as one of many cost containment strategies related to budgetary constraints with next year’s budget and beyond.  Research provided to the City Council by city staff showed that city costs associated with these special events run approximately $180,000 each year, including events such as: Rap River Run, Chasco Fiesta, Main Street Blast and Bike Fest.

Pasco offices to close for Independence Day

Pasco offices to close for Independence Day

Pasco County Government offices, including the constitutional offices and the courts, will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2011, in observance of Independence Day.  All government offices, and the courts will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.

The Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office will be closed on Saturday, July 2, 2011 and Monday, July 4, 2011, in observance of Independence Day.  The office will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.

All Pasco County libraries will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2011.  They will all reopen on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, at 10:00 am.