PORT RICHEY — Fireworks lit up the night last night over Waterfront Park, but community leaders hope a recent survey will help shine a light on possible improvements to boost the coastal areas of Port Richey.
Organizers received 53 responses last month, according to Walter Loos, director of business development and marketing at the Gill Dawg marina and bar and grill. The marina hosted a June 12 meeting of the Port Richey Waterfront Community Gathering.
Loos provided a summary of survey results Tuesday that included separate questions about the long-delayed effort for dredging.
Respondents ranked development initiatives from extremely important to low priority, Loos explained
Pedestrian friendly walkways in the waterfront district got high marks as extremely important. More than nine out of 10 respondents wanted to pursue this possible project.
Managed parking solutions ranked as “very important,” especially for the businesses in the district and any future development efforts.
Streetscaping and wayward signage also got a vast majority of more than 90 percent favoring this initiative.
As for better water access, three-fourths of respondents rated this as a high priority.
Organized cleanup days appealed to 90 percent of survey takers as extremely important. “The overwhelming feeling was that this is an easy development initiative that the community can participate in that would have high returns in overall upkeep of the waterfront district,” Loos wrote in his summary.
Three names won support as a possible brand for the Identity of the waterfront area, Cotee River Bayou, Port Richey Bayou and River Gulf Bayou.
When it came to dredging area waterways, only one respondent among 53 spoke out against it, Loos said. Opinions split about Gulf access, with 40 in favor. Another 44 survey takers believe dredging would increase their property values.
A tax assessment as a way to pay for dredging drew support from only 29 respondents, with 24 against the concept. Far fewer people would be willing to pay dredging costs out of pocket, with only six respondents favoring this idea. The other 47 were unwilling to fund dredging in this manner.
Asked if Port Richey should join a dredging consortium, only a handful of respondents approved of the concept, Loos said.