It seems like just yesterday that we were starting the new year and here we are coming up on Labor Day.
As I write this NPR Note, the rain outside continues. We’ve been on the trailing edge of a tropical system for days now. Tonight’s public hearing is on our street light and storm water assessments. Somehow, I don’t see anyone complaining that we are trying to address ways to deal with storm water.
I’m proud of the city staff and my fellow council members for being willing to step up and say that we need to invest in things like upgraded storm sewers, better street lights, and decent roads. These are things that don’t get fixed without spending money.
The evolving Hurricane Harvey disaster in Texas should be a lesson to everyone in Florida that we need to plan for natural disasters. While some have criticized the Mayor of Houston for not ordering an evacuation in advance of the storm, I think about what US 19 and SR 54 would look like if the million folks in Pinellas County decided to evacuate. The bridges that make up the other ways out of Pinellas would be closed early in the event of a storm. An evacuation that required most of the quarter million of us in West Pasco to leave would be bad enough. Add the million folks from Pinellas and you’ve got guaranteed gridlock. The key is to be prepared to move out at the first indication of a need to evacuate.
I was thrilled to be able to participate in last Saturday night’s Gala at the Hacienda. It was wonderful to see the Grand Old Lady of New Port Richey opened for the event. Thank you to everyone on the Friends of the Hacienda & Historic New Port Richey, Inc. for throwing this magnificent event.
You should have a copy of the latest issue of the Bridge, the city’s quarterly newsletter, in your mailbox. One upcoming event listed in the newsletter is the 2017 Cyclovia, to be held on October 7th from 9:00am until 1:00pm. We are going to close a portion of Grand Blvd south of town to allow folks to walk, bike, and otherwise have a great time outdoors. I hope to see you there. You’ll want to be at Sims Park that evening too, as we will have a Billy Joel Tribute Band playing in the bandshell.
Also coming up is the Cotee River Cleanup from 8 to noon on September 16th. Everyone will be meeting at the Sims Park Boat Ramp. Please come and help us clean up our river.
Please stay safe and dry this holiday weekend.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor