Archived Blogs & Articles

Posted: 2/2/2015
Public Meeting Feb. 3 to Discuss Future of Riverview Library
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Hillsborough County has scheduled a public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 3, to discuss the future of the Riverview Branch Library. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the library, located at 10509 Riverview Drive.

At 8,000 square feet and 35 years old, the current building is considered outdated and too small for the increased customer use that has accompanied new development in the area in recent years. During the fiscal year 2015 budget process, County Commissioners approved $3.4 million in capital improvement funds toward a project to expand or replace the building.

Input from the community is vital to shaping the project scope, which in turn will identify a construction timeline and final costs. The purpose of the public meeting is to seek feedback from residents on what kinds of future amenities and improvements they would like to see, how they feel about the current location versus relocating to a different site, and whether there is interest in housing other County services - or perhaps even a private venture - as part of the library facility. Information presented at this meeting will also be available online on Hillsborough County's website.

All meeting facilities are accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additional necessary accommodations will be provided with a 48-hour notice. For more information, call Steve Valdez, Customer Engagement Division Director, at (813) 272-5275. TTY: (813) 301-7173. Prensa: Para información, llamar al (813) 272-5314.

Posted: 2/2/2015
Hillsborough County Will Give You ‘Money 4 Mercury’
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Hillsborough County residents can exchange hazardous mercury-containing devices for a $5 grocery store gift card at Household Hazardous Waste collections through April 2015, while gift card supplies last. Collection events are held monthly on selected Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

  • First Saturday of the month - 9805 Sheldon Road in Tampa
  • Second Saturday of the month - 13000 U.S. Highway 41 in Gibsonton
  • Third Saturday of the month - 6209 County Road 579 in Seffner

Examples of mercury-containing devices that are eligible for a Money 4 Mercury gift card include thermometers, thermostats and switches. No commercial or business-related waste will be accepted. Gift cards are limited to one per eligible vehicle, while supplies last.

When a mercury-containing device is disposed of in a solid waste landfill or incinerator, the mercury can contaminate the air, surface water and groundwater. Residents are encouraged to always properly recycle mercury-containing devices at a hazardous materials collection site.

For more information about mercury collection events, visit, contact Hillsborough County Solid Waste at (813) 209-3042, or email

Residents may also bring other household chemicals and hazardous wastes to the collection event for proper disposal, including compact fluorescent bulbs, other light bulbs and batteries; however, these items are not eligible for a gift card.

The goal of the Hillsborough County Solid Waste Management Division's Money 4 Mercury program is to educate and safely manage mercury containing items. Funding for the program is provided in partnership with Covanta Hillsborough, Inc. and through a $5,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County Pollution Recovery Fund.

Posted: 2/2/2015
Free Tax Prep at the Hillsborough County Extension Office
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Hillsborough County Extension Office is offering free tax preparation assistance for individuals and families with an income of $60,000 or less in 2014. Residents can access a self-guided tax preparation program and receive one-on-one assistance from an IRS trained and certified volunteer. This free service is offered as part of the United Way Suncoast free tax preparation efforts.. Appointments are required and will be available starting Feb. 4 through April 8 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and also on Saturday, Feb. 28 and March 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hillsborough County Extension is a cooperative service of Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M., University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners cooperating.


DeniseKantak,Hillsborough County,
phone:(813) 744-5519 ext. 54141.

Posted: 1/30/2015
Fletcher Avenue safety improvements recognized as Outstanding Transportation Project
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Hillsborough County was recognized Jan. 13 with the 2014 Project of the Year Award by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (TBITE) for the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets project. This award recognizes an outstanding transportation project that has applied innovative techniques and completed successful implementation in the previous year. A TBITE representative made the announcement and presented award plaques to Hillsborough County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) staff at the FDOT Fifth Annual District 7 Safety Summit in Tampa.

Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street was identified as an area of high pedestrian use and high pedestrian crash rates, with more than 1,400 pedestrians crossing Fletcher Avenue each day. Construction of the $5 million Complete Streets project to re-engineer the road for pedestrian and bicyclist safety was completed in late 2014, with the help of $3 million in Federal Highway Administration safety funds through the FDOT.

Several innovative approaches were used in designing the safety improvements along Fletcher Avenue, including a first-of-its-kind overhead rapid flashing beacon installation at pedestrian crossings. Additionally, all of the mid-block crossings have energy efficient LED street lighting in the medians - a first in Hillsborough County.

Other safety improvements include raised concrete pedestrian refuge islands, raised concrete traffic separators, repaired and additional sidewalks, upgraded handicap access ramps at crossings and intersections, and a reduced speed limit of 35 miles per hour. An additional 1.5 miles of marked bicycle lanes also created a 3-mile continuous segment along Fletcher Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and 50th Street.

Hillsborough County is educating area residents and commuters about the project through a collaborative grass-roots campaign with Walk-Wise Tampa Bay, FDOT, and the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. More information on the Fletcher Avenue Complete Streets safety improvements and the pedestrian education campaign is available at

Source: Hillsborough County news release

Watch a video about the project »

Posted: 1/26/2015
State launches The Safe Sleep Campaign to combat infant crib deaths

So far this calendar year, 95 infant deaths related to unsafe sleep have been reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline. In an increased effort to prevent these tragedies, Florida government agencies, state officials, community organizations, medical professionals and first responders came together to launch The Safe Sleep Campaign. The campaign brings existing safe sleep initiatives together and provides resources to launch new projects.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep ALONE, on their BACKS and in a CRIB. Cribs should be clear of items like blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, strings/cords, sleep positioners and bumper pads. Babies should sleep in their own cribs, as the risk of infant death is 40 times higher for babies who sleep in adult beds.

Posted: 1/6/2015
Jan. 10th “Best Heel Forward” workshop focuses on girls aged 13-17

“Best Heel Forward,” presented by Voice THE Movement, Incorporated, in association with the HCC MLK Day of Service Project, is a one-day workshop created to empower teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. The workshop is designed to build character, promote poise and confidence, and encourage positive self-imagery through interactive activities centered on etiquette, self-awareness, and service. “Best Heel Forward” will be presented by empowered women in the community, is FREE to attend, and features interactive guest panelist, formal legacy luncheon, give-a-ways, and much more. Registration is FREE. For more information on Voice THE Movement visit

WHEN: Saturday, January 10, 2015
WHERE: University Area Community Development Center
TIME: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
ADMISSION: FREE (Must Register to Attend)
WHO CAN ATTEND: Girls Ages 13-17 years old

* Free transporation will be provided by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) for volunteers and participants. To reserve your bus pass, contact the event organizer via the registration page (link below).

Click for more event details and to register online »

Posted: 1/6/2015
What is myON? How can it help my child read better? Find out!
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In collaboration with Hillsborough County Public Schools, several nonprofit organizations including Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, United Way Suncoast, BOCC Head Start, Tampa Housing Authority, and Early Learning Coalition, launched the Read on myON Project on February, 2012.

myON is a complete literacy solution that reinvents the ways in which students and teachers interact with text. myON provides anytime, anywhere access to a library of thousands of enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time reporting and assessments and embedded close reading tools. Its innovative digital literacy platform allows students not only to read, but to read closely, to engage with digital texts in new ways that will transform the entire learning experience.

To learn more about myON, attend one of the following FREE informational sessions to learn about myON and how your children can access thousands of digital books at no cost to you. The Read on myON partnership sponsors these sessions, held at Children's Board Family Centers.

Date / Location:
Ruskin — Jan. 20th, 4:40-5:45 p.m.
Brandon — Jan. 21st, 4:40-5:45 p.m.
Central Tampa — Feb. 12th, 4:40-5:45 p.m.

Register online »

Posted: 1/6/2015
Register now for low-cost child care training and parenting workshops
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Hillsborough County Extension is offering a number of different workshops in the next few months, each focused on a different topic or topics, and each only $5.00 to attend. Registration is online via the EventBrite website.

Date/Time     Topic
Jan. 10th, 9-11 am     Creating Special Moments with Infants and Toddlers
Jan. 13th, 7-9 pm     Providing Care for Children with Disabilities
Jan. 24th, 9-11 am     Responsive Environments and Routines
Feb. 7th, 9-11 am     Healthy Air + Healthy Spaces= Healthy Children
Feb. 10th, 9-11 am     Giving Your Best: Making Secure Attachments
Feb. 19th, 7-9 pm     The Ins and Outs of Good Circle Time

Also being offered are three-session Parenting Class Series workshops. You *must* attend all sessions. Classes are from 9 am until noon each day. Fee is $20, which is non-refundable. Class dates:

Schedule of Classes:
Week 1
— A Balanced Parenting Style
— Enhance Your Child’s Self Esteem

Week 2
— Effective Discipline Techniques
— Helping Your Child Succeed in School

Week 3
— Family Communication Skills
— Managing Your Stress

Posted: 1/5/2015
Children's Board accepting proposals for 2015 grant-funded projects
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Funding Allocation for Fiscal Year 2015 has been increased to $500,000 in the Children are Ready to Learn and Succeed focus area. The purpose is to address prevention and early intervention efforts to improve educational success for 6th grade youth. Out of school time activities provide youth the opportunities to build positive relationships and increase their connection to school and their community.

Qualifying Proposals will address the following needs:

  1. The primary target areas to organize and deliver services are Plant City and/or Thonotosassa, with respective ancillary services supporting these targets in the communities of Knights/Antioch, East Hillsborough and Lithia.
  2. Provide out of school time programming that supports the needs of Middle School 6th Grade Students, supports teachers and incorporates parent/caregiver involvement.
  3. Include a summer intervention that nurtures youth interests and talents (including, but not limited to the arts and sciences).
  4. Require staff to be trained in Trauma Informed Care. The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County will provide local training options for Trauma Informed Care to the selected grantee.

Learn more about CBHC funding opportunities »

Posted: 12/16/2014
Hillsborough County launches new online Community Calendar
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Hillsborough County launched a new Community Calendar in time to promote holiday happenings. The calendar serves as an outlet to help promote neighborhood events in our community.

Events happening in Hillsborough County and the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, and those hosted by local neighborhood associations may be submitted for posting. Events should be submitted a minimum of 10 business days before the event date.

Guidelines for submitting an event for posting are as follows:

  • The event is free and open to the public; and
  • The event is organized or funded by another order of government; and
  • The event is an appropriate community event that is not-for-profit and open to all members of the public (all ages)

The calendar and a complete list of criteria are available at the link below. All submissions will be reviewed and are subject to approval before posting.

The Hillsborough County Community Calendar is an initiative championed by Commissioner Sandra Murman, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. The calendar was created to provide a central location for announcing community events, and for those seeking events and activities in Hillsborough County.

Visit the Hillsborough Community Calendar »

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