2020 eventful for East Pasco communities


The COVID-19 pandemic apart, the 12 months 2020 introduced myriad new developments and occurrences inside the cities of Dade Metropolis and Zephyrhills.
Right here’s a take a look at a number of the highlights from the previous 12 months:
Dade Metropolis
Medical marijuana dispensaries allowedMedical marijuana remedy facilities and dispensaries can now arrange store inside sure areas of Dade Metropolis, following a fee ruling.
Medical marijuana services at the moment are allowed in Dade Metropolis. (File)An ordinance authorized in January altered Dade Metropolis’s land growth rules to make remedy services a permitted use within the metropolis’s basic business zoning district, and an allowed use in business and employment middle deliberate growth districts.
Extra particularly, the motion ordinance lets medical marijuana services be located alongside U.S. 301/U.S. 98 south and north of city, and sure pockets of the Neighborhood Redevelopment Space (CRA) district, whereas avoiding a lot of the town’s historic downtown major road and central enterprise district.
The town beforehand had a collection of concurrent moratoriums on medical marijuana remedy facilities inside its municipal limits relationship again to 2016, to check its potential impacts.
Group 4 Commissioner Knute NatheNew commissioners electedThe 2020 municipal election cycle introduced aboard a pair of recent faces to the five-member Dade Metropolis Fee — in Knute Nathe and Normita Woodard.
Normita WoodardNathe, an legal professional at McClain Alfonso, assumed the Group 4 seat vacated by Nicole Deese Newlon, who selected to not run for reelection. Nathe in his marketing campaign was vocal about controlling growth that comes into metropolis limits, to curb “out-of-control” development seen in Wesley Chapel and San Antonio.
Woodard, a secretary at Lacoochee Elementary Faculty, assumed the Group 5 seat that had been held by Eunice Penix since 1993 (Penix opted to not search reelection.)
Woodard’s platform targeted on constructing a robust downtown, whereas additionally advocating for extra accountability and effectivity in municipal providers for residents.
Meantime, Group 3 incumbent Jim Shive was elected to serve a 3rd time period on the fee.
A $2.5 million building challenge was accomplished to assist relieve downtown flooding in Dade Metropolis.Downtown will get stormwater reliefDade Metropolis’s downtown streets and sidewalks have been recognized to be swallowed in a minimum of 6 inches to 7 inches of standing water for days at a time after heavy summer time rains.
This subject was seemingly largely resolved when building wrapped up in August on a $2.5 million stormwater capital enchancment challenge.
The challenge typically took underground concrete piping by way of a number of downtown streets into an current conveyance system right into a reconfigured Irwin Pond, simply previous U.S. 98 and the CSX railway.
The brand new system runs from Seventh Avenue’s intersections with Church Avenue and Pasco Avenue. Then it heads east on Pasco Avenue to Third Avenue, earlier than heading north as much as Meridian Avenue.
The challenge was paid for with a mixture of state appropriations, and funding from the Florida Division of Transportation and Dade Metropolis.
Snow on the town?Whereas barely exterior the town limits, the brand-new Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park has introduced an inflow of holiday makers in search of a novel, household pleasant thrilling journey to the Dade Metropolis space.
Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park opened in November, at 27839 Saint Joe Street in Dade Metropolis.The theme park hyped as “Florida’s first-ever snow park” opened for enterprise in November,
at 27839 Saint Joe Street in Dade Metropolis.
There are three major sights on the 20-acre website:
Snowy Slopes — 60-foot-tall, 400-foot-long snowtubing hill that includes single, tandem and family-style snowtubing.
Arctic Igloo  — 10,000-square-foot enclosed round house that’s coated in snow thick sufficient to construct snowmen, and make snow angels and snowballs.
Alpine Village — expansive concourse space that reveals a line of native distributors providing an assortment of meals, drinks, beer, wine, craft items and vacation present buying.
The park operates every day, besides Christmas, from round November by way of March. Snowcat Ridge is owned by Level Summit Inc., which additionally operates TreeHoppers Aerial Journey Park and Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park.
Important Avenue Zephyrhills garners statewide recognitionMain Avenue Zephyrhills Inc., yearly places on a number of the metropolis’s largest and hottest downtown occasions, such because the Competition of Lights, the Founder’s Day Parade & Heritage Competition, Music & Bikes, and others.
Important Avenue Zephyrhills in March was designated Florida Important Avenue Program of the Month. (Courtesy of Important Avenue Zephyrhills)The 501c3 nonprofit additionally works carefully with metropolis management on different initiatives, equivalent to creating interactive artwork murals, and putting in public Wi-Fi downtown and extra public park benches.
The group’s diverse efforts didn’t go unnoticed in 2020.
In March, it was designated Florida Important Avenue Program of the Month by Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee.
The month-to-month statewide honor is believed to be a primary for Important Avenue Zephyrhills, which is usually run by a big contingent of volunteers. The Metropolis of Zephyrhills does workers a coordinator to facilitate the group’s occasions and different applications.
Additionally, the group in 2019 achieved nationwide accreditation by the Important Avenue America program “for producing spectacular financial returns, preserving neighborhood character, and celebrating native historical past.”
Lawyer Clarke Passion will function co-counsel for the Metropolis of Zephyrhills.Zephyrhills joins water contamination lawsuitCoincidentally sufficient, “Metropolis of Pure Water” this 12 months joined an enormous federal lawsuit concerning contaminated water.
In Might, the municipality turned a plaintiff in a multi-district litigation case filed towards varied firms that manufactured firefighting foams, or artifical chemical substances discovered to infect groundwater, wastewater and water wells.
The chemical substances in query are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), compounds traditionally utilized in carpets, clothes, meals packaging and quite a few industrial processes.
Excessive ranges of PFOA/PFOS have been found in Water Nicely No. 1 utilized by the town’s downtown fireplace station for coaching functions, relationship way back to 2014, officers and specialists have stated.
Armed with this data, the Zephyrhills Metropolis Council unanimously voted to enter negotiations for illustration with Cossich, Summich, Parsiola and Taylor LLC., a New Orleans-based litigation agency. Native co-counsel consists of Tampa-based corporations Passion & Passion P.A., and Younger & Companions LLP.
Zephyrhills joins greater than 100 different cities and water remedy services throughout the nation within the lawsuit. Different plaintiffs are as distant as California and North Dakota, and inside Florida, Pensacola and Lauderhill.
Bidding adieu to native fireplace departmentThe Zephyrhills Fireplace Division — because it had been recognized for some 100 years — made its final service name in September when the company formally turned a part of Pasco County Fireplace Rescue, by way of an interlocal settlement.
The Zephyrhills Fireplace Division consolidated with Pasco Fireplace Rescue by way of an interlocal settlement.With the merger, the regionally managed fireplace division’s 24 full-time workers, two stations and equipment have been absorbed into the county’s fireplace and rescue operations.
The fireplace stations’ laptop and audio programs unified inside the county’s 911 operations middle, too.
Together with the change, the town’s two stations have been renamed from Zephyrhills Fireplace Division Station 1 and Zephyrhills Fireplace Division Station 2, to Pasco County Fireplace Rescue Station 25 and Pasco Nation Fireplace Rescue Station 29, respectively.
The merger had been inevitable for the previous a number of years.
In addition to a ballooning annual funds, Zephyrhills Fireplace Division through the years battled personnel turnover, staffing shortages and outdated gear. The town additionally was and not using a fireplace chief for over 18 months, as an alternative dividing these duties amongst three battalion chiefs.
The consolidation saved Zephyrhills from having to implement what would have amounted to an expensive fireplace evaluation charge on residents and enterprise house owners to maintain the native company afloat.
World-class tennis middle opensLace up the tennis footwear and prep these rackets and balls for play — as a result of the state-of-the-art Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Heart is now game-ready for native use.
The multimillion greenback Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Heart is open for public use.What started as drawings and plans on paper some 4 years in the past has grow to be a actuality — within the kind a $4.9 million athletic complicated located on practically 10 acres of land, at 6585 Simons Street in Zephyrhills.
The ability’s centerpiece is 11 regulation out of doors tennis courts (9 clay floor, two onerous floor), eight pickleball courts and 4 padel courts.
Hooked up is an almost 8,000-square-foot indoor membership housing cutting-edge well being and wellness facilities that promote coaching and restoration through cryotherapy, salt remedy, yoga, athletic coaching and extra. The indoor clubhouse additionally has a full restaurant and cafe operated by Land O’ Lakes-based caterer Mark Vesh.
The complicated is known as in honor of Sarah Vande Berg, a former Zephyrhills Excessive Faculty district champion and three-time state qualifier who died in an car accident in South Carolina on the age of 21, in October 2015.
The tennis middle enterprise is a public-private partnership between the Metropolis of Zephyrhills and Pascal Collard, a longtime tennis professional and teacher serving as the power’s CEO.
In addition to public use, the power is anticipated to be a bunch to nationwide and worldwide racquet sports activities tournaments.
A mushy opening was held in September and grand opening in October.
Printed December 30, 2020
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