Saint Leo University wants to use narrow road as entrance to new facility

San Antonio mayor says road just not big enough

There's hysteria brewing in north Pasco County on a little road called Pompanic.

"This road is not designed for that kind of regular use of traffic," said Louis Rinaldi.

Rinaldi, who lives near Pompanic Road, is leading a charge against Saint Leo University's latest expansion. 

On Monday, university officials will ask city leaders to approve a proposal to build a new maintenance facility about a mile from their main entrance just off S.R. 52. Once built, people living down that street can expect nearly 15 large trucks and semis traveling in and out of the new facility every day on a street that barely fits two cars. 

"We have folks that walk down, bicycle down. Saint Leo University has students [that] use it, their running team also uses this street," said Rinaldi, who calls the potential move a nuisance.

"From 52, it's impossible for these huge trucks to turn onto Pompanic without coming across the center line," said San Antonio City Mayor Tim Newlon. 

He said it simply comes down to safety, something he feels this route just doesn't provide. 

"It's going to be very difficult for everyone to share this narrow road all together," said Newlon. 

The city asked the university to instead build a separate entrance directly off S.R. 52, a request that was denied. 

"Trucks turning left and right in and out of 52 would probably put the community at much greater risk, we feel," said university official Denny Moller. 

However university officials did offer a compromise to pay a third of the cost of widening Pompanic Road with the cities of San Antonio and Saint Leo picking up the rest of the cost. For Mayor Newlon, the answer to that was easy. 

"I don't want to, to be honest with you," said Newlon. 

Neither does Rinaldi. But with the university bringing millions in economic revenue to the area every year, he and the mayor might be facing and uphill battle. 

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