Referendum funding may not include widening Lithia -Pinecrest Road listen09/01/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Today two citizens came before the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), urging them not to include a plan to widen two-lane Lithia-Pinecrest Road to six lanes from State Road 60 to Country Road 39 in a possible referendum that would go before Hillsborough County voters next year.
The Hillsborough County Transporation Task Force has publicly said that if a 1 cent sales referendum is approved by voters next year, 25% of those proceeds will go to road projects.
In the past, County planners have argued that it was important to approve the road-lengthening to attract federal funds. Now, according to environmental activist Kelly Cornelius, the County wants federal money and local taxpayer funds to approve the controversial re-widening of the road.
Citizen Lauren Oâ€™Grady presented MPO members with a petition signed by 250 residents arguing against the widening of Lithia-Pinecrest Road.
Ray Chiramonte, Executive Director of the MPO, said that the Countyâ€™s Transportation Task Force on Monday turned in a revised list of projects that they would like to be considered if the 1 cent referendum passes next year, and says the widening of Lithia â€“Pinecrest Road isnâ€™t in the new plans.
But Tampa City Councilman Thomas Scott reminded Chiramonte and the rest of the MPO that the Task Forceâ€™s recommendations are just that, and that the Board of County Commissioners will have the last say on the matter.
It was also revealed yesterday that if Hillsborough voters approve the 1 cent sales tax increase for light rail, it would cost an average family $142 annually and a single person $85.