Window on Pasco

Window on Pasco: Coastal cleanup a success

Rainy weather didn’t dampen spirits at the 2021 International Coastal Cleanup presented by the Rotary Club of New Port Richey. More than 1,200 volunteers worked throughout Pasco County, picking up 24,000 pounds of trash and litter along roadways, public spaces and waterways during the Sept. 18 event.

Highlights included:

• 12 tons of trash and litter collected

• 52 locations around Pasco

• 1,210 volunteers

• 3,771 volunteer hours logged.

“We’re thrilled by the turnout,” said Keep Pasco Beautiful Coordinator Kristen King.  “This year we had more locations than ever, and many of those locations are along roadways. By cleaning roadways and public spaces, we’re preventing trash from entering out waterways.”

The Pasco County Department of Public Works plays an important role in picking up trash from the event and manages the Adopt-A-Thon program for volunteers who are interested in helping clean up our community in other ways.

For more information about the Adopt-A-Road program and Keep Pasco Beautiful, visit keeppascobeautiful.org.

Offices closing for Veterans Day

Pasco Board of County Commissioners offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day. Offices will reopen Friday, Nov. 12.

The county’s Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources offices, recreation complexes and community centers will be closed Nov. 11; however, the parks and beaches will stay open to the public from dawn to dusk.

GoPasco County Public Transportation will be open Nov. 11, and will be providing service on all fixed routes and paratransit. (Veterans always ride free.) GoPasco administrative offices will be closed to walk-in customers Nov. 11; however, phone lines will be open.

All Pasco County libraries will be closed Nov. 11.

The Pasco County Animal Services administration office, adoption center, intake/reclaim shelter and field services will be closed Nov. 11. An Animal Control officer will be available for emergencies only.

The Pasco County Resource Recovery Facility, West Pasco Class III, and the East Pasco Transfer Station will be closed to the public Nov. 11; however, they will be open to Pasco County licensed commercial haulers.

Utility customers get payment options

Pasco County Utilities has switched to a new payment service provider to offer customers enhanced payment features and new payment options when paying their utility bill.

Customers can pay:

• By phone at 855-786-5344

• Online using MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Visa

• Online using Google Pay, Apple Pay, eCheck or ACH (Automatic Clearing House)

• In person at one of three Customer Service Centers (Visa not accepted in person)

• Recurring automatic payment via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

• Mail via U.S. Postal Service, FedEx or UPS.

To see a step-by-step guide for the new method, or to learn more about all payment methods, visit the Pasco County Utilities payment webpage at https://www.pascocountyfl.net/2091/Pay-My-Utility-Bill.

“Switching to Invoice Cloud, a third-party provider, enhances our level of service, provides new payment features and ensures a top level of security,” said Utilities Customer Service Director Sandra Anderson. “Expanding payment options for residential, commercial and business customers is a top priority.”

Credit card processing fees, whether payments are made in person, online or through the pay-by-phone option, will still apply. Payment processing fees are paid directly to Invoice Cloud. Pasco County does not collect any portion of the processing fee.

Free HIV, Hep-C testing available

The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County offers free rapid HIV and Hepatitis-C testing on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the county health department, 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey. Testing is available by appointment only. Call 727-619-0260 to schedule an appointment.

Results from the rapid tests will be available in 20 minutes. No matter what the test results are, DOH-Pasco will work with clients to take steps to help them protect their health. Call DOH-Pasco at 727-619-0260 for more information.

Get COVID booster shot Nov. 13

Premier Community HealthCare will be hosting a drive-through COVID booster shot event from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Dade City Family Health Center, 14027 Fifth St., Dade City. They will be offering the Moderna shot.

Call 352-437-1770 to schedule your vaccine appointment. Appointments are required. People should bring an identification card and their vaccination card. Only booster shots will be given, not the dose 1 and 2 shots.

See the website at www.PremierHC.org for more information.

Tax offices raise funds

Over the summer the five Pasco County Tax Collector’s Offices accepted more than $4,500 in donations on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay.  

“I would like to thank everyone who dug deep to help this very important program grow and be able to serve more young people in our community,” said Mike Fasano, the county’s tax collector.

Input sought on wildlife area

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will present a draft 10-year management plan for the Little Gator Creek Wildlife and Environmental Area at a public hearing in Pasco County on Nov. 17.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at the Alice Hall Community Center at 38116 Fifth Ave., in Zephyrhills. The public is encouraged to attend and will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions regarding the management plan for the FWC-managed wildlife area. 

The Little Gator Creek WEA encompasses approximately 566 acres in Pasco County. With a boundary surrounded by conservation lands, the Little Gator Creek WEA was acquired for the purpose of protecting wood stork and wading bird colonies. Due to this purpose, the Little Gator Creek WEA is only open to visitors Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing.

United Way seeks tax advisers

The United Way needs volunteers to help low and moderate income clients who need help navigating a very complex tax system. The COVID pandemic caused tax preparers and other program volunteers to leave.

United Way provides the training; all the volunteer needs is decent computer skills.

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

United Way will operate sites in West Pasco in Hudson, Port Richey, New Port Richey and Holiday; two sites in Land O’Lakes; two sites in Wesley Chapel; one in Dade City; and two in Zephyrhills.

Those interested in volunteering should email lead volunteer Bill Humphrey at bill.humphrey@earthlink.net or call him at 727 808-4483.

Preserve tract closing for hog hunt

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Alston Tract at Upper Hillsborough Preserve in Pasco County will be temporarily closed to the public for feral hog hunts Nov. 9-11.

Only permitted hunters will be allowed on the property during these dates. All 11 permits for these hunts have been sold. Alston Tract is located at 42144 Deems Road in Zephyrhills.

This activity is one of a series of feral hog hunts being held on District lands to control the damage being caused to the natural habitats.