The Latest “Dirt” from Betmar – September 18th

From “Dirt Meister” Jim Kollodge

“Plecostomus Fish”. These “plecos”, center of the pic along the bottom creek bank, a member of the catfish family, were spotted in the creek near the Kissing Bridge.


About 12″ to 18″ long, they burrow into the side banks of our creeks and ponds to form a home.


“Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”. Yes we celebrated Labor day in Clubhouse #2 and it consisted of a generous piece of barbecued chicken, potato salad, beans, bread pudding with sauce along with coffee, tea or water.


Judy Gearsbeck, shown bottom row far left, was the “chief cook and honcho”, along with some of the many volunteers that made this such a successful event for the residents of Betmar.


A few more volunteers.


Some of the 150 Betmarians who attended.


The “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” was served …….


…then after dinner entertainment was provided by Johnny Ellis and Denise Drew along with dancing from the attendees.


New look at the Betmar office. Congrads to the Betmar garden club for this fine effort.


The old “Keeps Carpet” is no more and the building has new tenants.


Pizza Hut will be moving to its new building across from the new Sunrise Eatery and will be “take out” only, no “dinning in”. And Dollar General will be moving next to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.


Century Plant update on Jo Street. and Kay Ave. Due to a COMPLETE and UTTER lack of interest in the the proposed raffle I submitted in last months “Dirt”, mainly, selling raffle tickets for $5, with a payout of $3, I have reluctantly decided to not pursue the continuance of this raffle.


Good news. Us “Sunbirds” are blessed with the benefits of the much needed pavement improvements to 8th Ave. But wait, there’s more. You returning “Snowbirds” will also be able to reap in these road improvements!!


New traffic lights at Chancy Rd. and Coats Rd.


FYI…………….I just heard about a radio station that is here in Zephyrhills. Apparently its been around for awhile. It’s called, “The Zephyr”, WZPH 96.7 FM and it has no commercials and plays only music, the longest music set ever by an FCC licensed radio station, a Seven-Year- Long Music Set!!


Zephyrhills gains control of former Hercules Park land

ZEPHYRHILLS – The Pasco County School District has turned over the remainder of the former Hercules Park property, long sought by Zephyrhills City Council members, who hope to return it to public use. The council received the deed last week for about 11 acres that made up the majority of Hercules Park at U.S. 301 and County Road 54, adjacent to Zephyrhills High and Woodlands Elementary schools.

The deed transfer was recorded, ending years of negotiations between the school district and Zephyrhills. Hercules was a park of more than 15 acres that once held a public swimming pool and bath house that Pasco County commissioners shuttered years ago amid budget constraints.

In April 2016, the school district sold a portion of the property to a developer who brought a Wawa convenience store to the intersection along with plans for mixed-use development.

Since then, the district and Zephyrhills reached an interlocal agreement that transferred the remaining land with the stipulation that the city must dedicate it to public use.



Plans for a tennis center in Zephyrhills crawling along

ZEPHYRHILLS – Excitement remains high over a proposed tennis center in Zephyrhills, but play on its professional-grade courts likely won’t begin soon.

City officials had hoped to begin construction on the Sarah Vande Berg Memorial Tennis Center earlier this year. Now a start date is up in the air as the city works to determine costs, finalize a transfer of land to Zephyrhills, plan roads and determine impact fees.

The city put the ‘cart before the horse’ on the project from the beginning, City Manager Steve Spina told the Zephyrhills City Council Monday. Council members got a look at early architectural renderings of the facility, which they hope will come to fruition through a public/private partnership.

‘There’s a lot of physical work to be done,’ Spina said.

In October 2017, Zephyrhills City Council members unanimously approved an agreement with Tennis Pro Florida and its owner – tennis guru Pascal Collard – to run the center. Collard has coached six Women’s Tennis Association-ranked players and is a former director of the renowned tennis program at Saddlebrook Tennis Academy in Wesley Chapel.

The tennis center partnership is supposed to include the city, the developer of an adjacent subdivision and Collard.

The city plans to build the facility to professional standards, with design help from the U.S. Tennis Association, on nearly 5 acres on Dean Dairy Road at Eiland Boulevard.

The city-owned center will be next to the 167-acre District at Abbot’s Square subdivision, planned by CBD Real Estate Investment for 1,200 singlefamily and multifamily homes, duplexes and townhouses. CBD has pledged to donate land to the city for the center, and Collard will run it, according to the agreement reached last year.

Spina’s announcement that the city still needs to address numerous logistical elements of the center also provides time for council members to address dissent over the renderings they saw Monday night.

City Council member Jodi Wilkeson, an architect, expressed concern that initial design drawings do not align with the look of Zephyrhills’ city buildings, including its new library and City Hall.

Council members asked for more drawings so they can consider other ideas, something Spina said would not further delay the project.

Cost also may be a concern. Last year’s construction estimate came in at $2.1 million, but an exact price has not been established, Spina said.


There’s no more “Dirt” to dish out, so that’s all for now…………”Dirt Meister”, Jim