Pasco commissioners postpone paving vote, some agree assessment system should be changed

Better Call Behnken

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Angry Pasco County homeowners were finally able to address county commissioners about a plan to charge them thousands to re-pave public roads.

The homeowners say some of the roads are fine. The bigger issue, some say, is that it’s time the county change its controversial paving assessment system. Some county commissioners even agreed with them.

“I don’t think there’s many counties that do it the way we do,” Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said. “And I think this is a very painful way that we do it.”

That’s something many homeowners agree with. Pasco County uses a paving assessment that charges homeowners who live along public residential streets for repaving projects. It adds up to thousands of dollars for each homeowner.

“Roads have a shelf life,” said homeowner Kathy Norton. “They last between 18 and 30 years. that’s 18 to 30 years of people enjoying those roads. That cost should be spread out over time.”

Lakewood Villas is one of several neighborhoods commissioners are considering re-paving. Under the controversial PVAS system, individual homeowners along the road would be charged.

“No one wants to spend money fixing their road, they want someone else to fix it, but that’s not how we do it here,” Starkey said.

She’s right about that last part. Most large municipalities pay for roads out of property taxes. That way, homeowners aren’t hit all at once.

Homeowners made their voices heard about that.

“None of these residents are for this project and a lot of them are pretty hostile about it,” one homeowner said.

Homeowners had already voted against this project, but the board decided to move forward now anyway.

Commissioner Mike Moore said he’s not comfortable with that.

“I’m just being honest, it’s like we ask you to vote on something and then it doesn’t matter,” Moore said. “Well, it should matter if they’re voting.”

Commissioners decided to postpone the final vote until public hearings can be held.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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