Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-April 13, 2016

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Patience dwindling on Ridge Road; North Pointe Church to have a home of its own

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-April 13, 2016

  • LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM

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    BPlayers made some great shots during a pool tournament at the Lutz Senior Center, 112 First Ave., N.W., in Lutz. Sixty-eight-year-old Debbie Mitchell, right, of Lutz, gets a lesson in using a pool table bridge, as first-place winner 91-year-oldPat Caldwell prepares to sink his winning shot.

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    JIMHOLLIDAY

    813-868-1887

    18920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy Ste 101 Lutz, FL

    (Corner of Sunlake & Dale Mabry)

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    Mark Pizzurro, Joe Traina and Peter Abreut anticipate opening their craft brewery in Land O

    Lakes in spring.

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    Owners of Amici Pizza & Deli are plan-

    ning to build a new stand-alone restaurant,

    with additional retail space, on Wesley

    Chapel Boulevard.The new restaurant is a short distance

    from the existing Amici restaurant in Grand

    Oaks Square, at Wesley Chapel and Pet Lane.

    Andrea and Josephine Mannino, are

    heading toward a construction start of

    Amici Plaza in spring with an opening likely

    by the end of 2016.Pasco County records show a conceptual

    plan with about 3,000 square feet for the

    restaurant, and about 1,800 square feet for

    retail.Wed like to have our own building and

    a bigger kitchen, said Andrea Mannino.

    No decisions have been made on the ad-

    ditional retail space, he said.

    The site is located at the corner of

    Magnolia Boulevard and Wesley Chapel

    Boulevard, which is also known as County

    Road 54.Pasco County is moving forward with ac-

    quisition of right-of-way along County Road

    54 to prepare for the expansion of the two-

    lane road into a four-lane road at the

    junction of State Road 56 and State Road 54

    Amici Pizza plans stand-alone location

    See PIZZA, page 13A

    I th

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    Saturday, January 30, 20169 AM - 5 PM

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    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    The first kumquat tree in St. Joseph tookroot more than 100 years ago, when C.J.Nathe planted it in his backyard.He added a few more, and soon he had asmall grove on an acre of fertile ground.The kumquat king, as Nathe was laterdubbed, transformed a quiet back road com-munity into the Kumquat Capital of theWorld.An open house will take place on Jan. 28and Jan. 29 at the Kumquat Growers pack-i h d

    KATHY STEELE/STAFF PHOTOMargie Neuhofer and her h b d J

    Kumquatsreign supremeat area festival

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    Pasco County Administrator MicheleBaker expects to be very busy over the nextyear and a half.Shell be crossing off a to-do list, one byone, before leaving in 2017 to go on alengthy road trip with her husband.The couple will hit the road with theirrecreational vehicle and their motorcycles,on a tour of as many baseball parks and na-tional parks as they can squeeze into a year.Thats been our dream, Baker said, soletting her contract lapse in July 2017 makessense.

    But, dont expect a lame duck administra-tor.Theres no kicking back here, Bakersaid. This isnt me slowing down.Baker has told Pasco County commis-sioners she wont seek renewal of hercurrent two-year contract, which makes her

    last day July 9, 2017.By then, Baker will

    have worked 35 yearsin public service, 24of those years withPasco County.

    Her to-do list, inshort form, includes:

    Completing mas-ter plans and updatesfor storm water, solidwaste and tourism

    Funding and building a diverging dia-mond road design to ease traffic congestionat State Road 56 and Interstate 75 Completing the State Road 56 exten-sion Nurturing SunWest Park, the countysfledgling aqua park Replacing and repairing aging infra-structure and roads damaged by thesummer flooding Making progress on the expansion of

    the jail and construction of new fire stations Relocating more government offices tocentral PascoBaker also plans to fill vacancies for afew key leadership positions that remain, in-cluding an assistant county administrator forpublic safety and administration.Progress has been made, Baker said, butgovernment services still could be morecustomer-friendly.A culture that was decades in the makingis being changed, she said. You dont get toturn a canoe. Youre turning a ship.Public service wasnt Bakers first careerchoice.Over the years she worked as a waitress,flight attendant and a theater manager. Shealso served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.Her undergraduate degree was in busi-ness administration. It wasnt until she accepted a secretarial

    Pasco administrator to retire in 2017

    See RETIRE, page 11A

    Michele Baker

    DONT MISS A SINGLE ISSUE!

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    INSIDE, PAGE 1B

    By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    There was a time when NorthPointe Church prayed over an 11-acre site, hoping that a door wouldopen for the land to become the lo-cation for the churchs firstpermanent home.

    That was in 2008.That prayer wasnt answered.Instead, another property three

    times the size of the parcel thechurch prayed over became avail-able in 2015.

    And, its in essentially the samespot, just facing the other direction,said North Pointes Pastor SteveWells.

    The incredible thing was that thechurch had been hoping for at least10 acres to plant its permanenthome, but then decided that a 3-acresite was probably more feasible, given its fi-nances.

    When it learned about the 33-acre prop-erty where its planning to build, it simplywas seeking to buy a few acres, Wells said.

    The owner told the church it could buya few acres, or all 33, for the same price.

    Wells saw the hand of God in that trans-action.

    Gods word says hell give you exceed-

    ingly more than you ever asked, dreamed orimagined Hes given us exceedinglymore than we could have ever asked,dreamed or imagined, Wells said.

    On April 10, the church celebrated agroundbreaking ceremony to mark the be-ginning of construction on a12,000-square-foot structure that will serveas the churchs first permanent worshipcenter.

    The site is off County Line Road andAmanda Park Drive, in Lutz.

    Plans for the first phase include a 12,000-plus-square-foot worship center, withgathering areas, administrative offices andspacious natural places on the property. Thegoal is to open the new sanctuary by lateDecember or early January.

    Wells is excited about the church finallyhaving a home of its own.

    North Pointe had its first meeting in2004 in the auditorium of Wharton High

    School, as a church planted by BelmontChurch of Temple Terrace. The followingyear, North Pointe became its own church,Wells said.

    In 2008, it moved from Wharton to awarehouse space in Land O Lakes, and thenit moved again, in 2015, to Sunlake HighSchool in Land O Lakes.

    The church has grown from 40 membersto more than 300, Wells said. It draws mem-bers from as far west as Odessa, as far east asZephyrhills, as far north as San Antonio and

    By Kathy Steeleksteele@lakerlutznews.com

    When it comes to the extension of RidgeRoad, one Pasco County commissioner saidits time to fish or cut bait.

    Pasco County Commissioner MikeMoore wants an answer from the U.S. ArmyCorps of Engineers on the project by mid-May, or hes ready to drop it.

    The county has been waiting for 16years for a permit on the project.

    Moore reluctantly joined other commis-sioners on March 29 to approve a newconsultants contract to pursue the permit,but said his tolerance is waning.

    I cant continue this year after year,

    Moore said. I cant continue even sixmonths to give more and more funds (to aproject) that I dont know is going to hap-pen.

    Moore