Pasco Commissioners Wasting Money
The Pasco County Commissioners recently approved a wetlands purchase at a cost of $3.2 million for Pasco residents in order to "offset" the wetlands that would be destroyed by the Ridge Road extension. This was approved by the County Commissioners without a discussion. So in addition to the over $30 thousand a month, or more than $15 million over the past almost 20 years, we are now being told we need to pay even more for a road to nowhere.
This project is expected to cost over $150 million and our Commissioners here in Pasco are ignoring what the residents are saying. This has been a HUGE financial drain to Pasco. Instead of using funds to build schools or improve roads, we have been paying for a non-existent project for 20 years. What will it take for our Commissioners to stop wasting our funds and stop trying to shove this project through? There have been protests, rallies, emails, messages, press releases, and rejections from the Army Corp of Engineers, yet the Commissioners still push on. For a perspective on just how money is being wasted on this road, consider the fact that the I-75 and SR56 interchange improvement was initially projected to cost $20.1 million and has now almost doubled to costing $40 million. But in the end, Pasco will benefit a lot more from that interchange being fixed than the Ridge Road Extension.
The idea, they claim, is that we need this road in order to alleviate east/ west travel. However, expanding our existing roads would cost significantly less. The cost to expand an existing road versus building a whole new road is about half. We should be asking our Commissioners why they have been so persistent for 20 years about this new road rather than expanding the roads we already have. This road has more than run its course in our budget and it needs to be put out to pasture.