Residents learn what's next for Pasco sinkhole

- It's been more than three months since a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County's Lake Padgett Estates, swallowing properties and a roadway. 

A total of seven homes are still uninhabitable. 

Nearly 200 people came out to a roughly 90-minute meeting to find out what's next now that the hole has been cleaned, water was pumped out, and the hole was filled with 758 dump truck loads.

Three options for the site were outlined, but most of the time was spent answering questions.

"When will the County start putting up the map again of where the known sinkholes are?” one woman asked. “Because this was a known sinkhole, and it should have been on the map, and it was not."

The massive void on Ocean Pines Drive caved in back in July. Restoration and repair work was completed mid-August, leaving folks wondering what happens next.

"We want to be here to take your information back to the Board of County Commissioners and tell them what your thoughts, concerns, and concepts are," said Kevin Guthrie, Assistant County Administrator of Public Safety.

The ideas on the table include connecting the sinkhole with the nearby lake and creating two cul-de-sacs for around $2.5-million, creating cul-de-sacs and putting a decorative fence around the hole for more than $1.7-million, or simply building the road back how it was for a cost of about $800,000.

"It seems to me it's pretty obvious that since the County is responsible for the road, and the road is broke, that the County would be responsible to fix the road,” Charlie Venator said. "That is of all the options on the table the most sensible to me.”

However, before that process can even start a geotechnical survey still needs to be done to figure out if the ground around the sinkhole is stable.

Some people saying the meeting was premature since so many details are unknown.

"It's too soon to make the call about what is the best option because are we talking $2-million, are we talking $10-million, how much of our tax dollars of Lake Padgett Estates is going to be assessed on the homeowner,” said Kim Falato.

Turns out, the people who own the properties swallowed by the sinkhole could also be a hold-up. They need to be involved in figuring out the permanent long-term solution since they own the land with the sinkhole.

If you weren't able to make it out to Saturday’s event, another community meeting to discuss the sinkhole is set for Wednesday night, November 8 at 7 p.m.  It will be held at the Land 'O Lakes Community center at 5401 Land O’Lakes Boulevard in activity room #1.

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