Archived Blogs & Articles

Posted: 10/15/2013
Public Meeting on Oct. 29 to Discuss the Lutz Area U.S. Highway 41 Median Landscaping

Hillsborough County will host an informational meeting on Oct. 29 for interested volunteers in the Lutz community who may want to participate in the maintenance of the medians along U.S. Highway 41. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will also be present as a community partner.

Earlier this year, Hillsborough County committed to hold this follow-up meeting to discuss landscape maintenance for the medians from the County line to the apex, where U.S. 41 Business (Florida Avenue) and U.S. 41 (Nebraska Avenue) come together.

The meeting will take place:
DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 29
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
PLACE: Lutz Community Center, 98 1st Ave. NW

All meeting facilities are accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any additional necessary accommodations will be provided with a 48-hour notice.

More information about the project


SteveValdez,Citizen Services ManagerHillsborough County

Posted: 10/14/2013
Save the date for 6th Annual Community Legislative Summit
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The 6th Annual Community Legislative Summit will be held on Tuesday, November 12th, from 9–11 a.m., at the offices of the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 East Palm Avenue, in Tampa.

The goals of the Community Legislative Summit are: 1) to bring community stakeholders together to consider issues collaboratively; 2) to educate and inform community stakeholders about substantive legislative and policy issues in human services; 3) to give guidance to Hillsborough County policy makers about the human service issues that are most important.

The "Red Book" is a compilation of policy and legislative priorities in human services that are the result of the annual Community Legislative Summit.

Download the 2013 Red Book

Posted: 10/9/2013
County Residents Invited to Health Festival Oct. 19

Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start is hosting a FREE Health Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave. in Tampa. More than 3,000 Head Start/Early Head Start families are expected to attend the annual event.

The festival will feature local health experts, vendors, dental exams and fun activities for children. Other planned activities will focus on educating families in making better choices to live active and healthy lives. Information on the new Affordable Care Act, obesity and other chronic health related topics will also be available.

For 48 years, Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start has provided at-risk children with needed medical, education and family resources to prepare them for entry into school.

For more information about Head Start/Early Head Start programs and services, visit or call 813-272-5900.

Posted: 10/9/2013
Public Invited to Tampa Heights Head Start/Early Head Start Open House Oct. 11

What: Tampa Heights Head Start/Early Head Start Open House
When: Friday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: 175 E. Francis Ave. in Tampa

Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start and Metropolitan Ministries will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 to celebrate the relocation of the Tampa Heights Head Start program. This is the first Head Start/Early Head Start program in Hillsborough County to be co-located in a homeless shelter.

The event will feature group tours of the facility and an unveiling of the new sign for the Tampa Heights Head Start/Early Head Start location.

For 48 years, Hillsborough County Head Start/Early Head Start has provided at-risk children with needed medical, education and family resources to prepare them for entry into school.

The Tampa Heights program provides education, health, nutrition and family services to more than 60 infants and children, ages 6 weeks to 3 years old. The program also provides services and support to pregnant women of low-income families.
For more information about Head Start/Early Head Start programs and services, visit or call 813-272-5900.

Posted: 9/9/2013
Purchasing with EBT cards unavailable on Monday, Sept. 16th
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On Monday, September 16, 2013, the Department of Children and Families will switch to a new vendor to process EBT transactions.

During this transition:

  • Purchases with EBT cards will not be available on Monday, September 16.
  • Customers are urged to plan ahead and complete food purchases BEFORE September 16.
  • To assist households receiving benefits between September 11-15, benefits will be made available early on September 10.
  • Normal EBT purchases will resume the evening of September 16.

For more information, contact the Florida Department of Children and Families Customer Call Center at (866) 762-2237.

Florida DCF website

Sign up for email and text updates about the EBT program

Posted: 9/9/2013
Westchase Park gymnasium ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held on Sept. 16

What: Westchase Park Gymnasium Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
When: Monday, Sept.16, at 4 p.m.
Where: Westchase Park, 9791 Westchase Dr. in Tampa

Hillsborough County Commissioners will join the Westchase community in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. at Westchase Park, 9791 Westchase Drive in Tampa.

The 10,000 square-foot gym will expand the Westchase Recreation Center, and provide a centralized space in northwest Hillsborough County to accommodate basketball, volleyball and other organized indoor activities. It will also allow the center to expand its popular Rec2Six afterschool and summer programs. This $2 million project was funded by Community Investment Tax.

For more information, contact the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department at 813-635-3500.

More information about facilities/programs at Westchase Park Rec Center

Posted: 9/9/2013
Hands-on course teaches how to do home improvement

Brushing Up on Home Improvement Skills is as Easy as 1-2-3!

TAMPA – A $216 hands-on course covering everything from plumbing and electrical repairs to drywall is now available at a reduced rate of $50 to qualified Tampa Water Department customers through a partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The 8-week Home Improvement course on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. is convenient for working adults and can help anyone looking to upgrade or maintain their home develop valuable skills. A unique hands-on lab at Hillsborough Technical Education Centers (HiTEC) Erwin campus and instruction by an expert handyman with more than 30 years of experience provides a practical “learn by doing” experience for students.

Whether you are a first-time homeowner, a new property management assistant or just a dedicated “do it your-selfer”, taking advantage of the Home Improvement Education Scholarships is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

Request a Home Improvement tuition voucher worth $166 by contacting (813) 274-8121, option #5. One non-transferable voucher is available per qualified City of Tampa utility account.

  1. Visit the Erwin Technical Center Evening Admissions Office at 2010 E Hillsborough Avenue between 1-8 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, pay the remaining $50 course tuition cost, provide an authorized voucher number and complete registration.

    Attend the classes and learn.
  2. Please visit or call (813) 274-8121, option #5 for more information and voucher program details.

  3. The next Home Improvement course is scheduled to start on October 22. Vouchers are available on a first come, first served basis until the funding is exhausted for that course session.

The Home Improvement Education Scholarships are provided by the Tampa Water Department, through a program with the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough County Public Schools, to assist utility customers in identifying and fixing water leaks, promote continuing property maintenance and support neighborhood revitalization.


BradBaird,P.E., Director,City of Tampa Water Department ,
phone:(813) 274-8663.

Posted: 9/9/2013
Working parents, don’t scramble for a sitter on no-school days

Don’t let no-school days become a logistical nightmare of scrambling for last-minute sitters, paying high prices for drop-in day care centers, or using up vacation days. Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation offers Camp Days as the perfect solution for all those teacher planning days, no-student days, and Winter and Spring break days - at only $7.60 per day. Online registration is now open at

Camp days are offered on the following dates:

  • Oct. 21
  • Nov. 25, 26 and 27
  • Dec. 23, 26, 27, 30 and 31
  • Jan. 2, 3 and 21, 2014
  • Feb. 7, 2014
  • March 10-14, 2014
  • April, 18, 2014

Camp days offer fun-filled days when school is closed at the following locations:

  • Brandon Recreation Center, 502 East Sadie St. in Brandon, 813-635-8179
  • Egypt Lake Recreation Center, 3126 W. Lambright St. in Tampa, 813-975-2103
  • Gardenville Recreation Center, 6219 Symmes Road in Gibsonton, 813-672-1120
  • Jackson Springs Recreation Center, 8620 Jackson Springs Road in Tampa, 813- 554-5004 (teens only)
  • Mango Recreation Center, 11717 Clay Pit Road in Seffner, 813-635-7489
  • Northdale Recreation Center, 15550 Spring Pine Drive in Tampa, 813-264-8956
  • Roy Haynes Recreation Center, 1902 S. Village Ave. in Tampa, 813-903-3480
  • Ruskin Recreation Center, 901 6th St. SE in Ruskin, 813-672-7881
  • Thonotosassa Recreation Center, 10132 Skewlee Road in Thonotosassa, 813-987-6206
  • Westchase Recreation Center, 9791 Westchase Drive in Tampa, 813-964-2948
  • Winston Recreation Center, 7605 Destin Drive in Tampa, 813-744-5539

Online registration

Posted: 9/6/2013
Transportation for Economic Development Public Engagement Meeting

A public engagement meeting for Transportation for Economic Development will be held Monday, Sept. 16 at King High School, 6815 North 56th St. in Tampa. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. This is the second in a series of monthly community discussions to solicit public engagement. As these meeting continue, they will be set in different locations throughout Hillsborough County.

The Transportation for Economic Development in Hillsborough County initiative implements a County strategic plan focus on job creation by developing a roadmap for transportation improvements to enhance the community’s ability to successfully compete in the economic marketplace. The Policy Leadership Group for this initiative is comprised of the Mayor of Tampa, the Mayor of Temple Terrace, the Vice Mayor of Plant City, Hillsborough County Commissioners, and the Chair of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART).

This will be a facilitated discussion about transportation as it relates to economic development. Attendees can register to stay informed on future developments for this initiative and will be asked to participate in discussions. Executives representing the participating organizations will be on hand to describe this landmark effort in Hillsborough County to build consensus among local entities.

Public engagement meetings are intended to disseminate information to the public for discussion. One or more future public hearings of the Policy Leadership Group are expected, and that format would be used to provide the public the opportunity to speak directly to elected officials on this important issue as specific plans or proposals are developed later in the process.

For more information, contact Eric Johnson, Hillsborough County Director of Strategic Planning, at 813-272-6582.

Posted: 9/3/2013
"Fight the Blight" program comes to Gibson in September

What: Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Operation Fight The Blight: Gibsonton
When: September 3 through September 17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Excluding weekends)
Where: Dumpsters are located at 6515 Riverview Drive in Riverview

Hillsborough County Code Enforcement continues its Operation Fight the Blight cleanup campaign in Gibsonton on Tuesday, September 3, at 6515 Riverview Drive in Riverview. Excluding weekends, Operation Fight the Blight: Gibsonton will run from September 3 to September 17, with hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Operation Fight the Blight’s boundaries reach north to south from Ohio Avenue to Gibsonton Drive, and east to west from Alafia Street to Lula Street. Residents who live in the boundaries and wish to participate in the program will be asked to show proof of residence, such as a Florida Driver’s License, Florida Vehicle Registration, or utility bills.
During the operation, several dumpsters will be placed at 6515 Riverview Drive for the following approved discarded items:
  • Accumulations (furniture, junk, trash, debris)
  • Metal
  • Electronics

Hillsborough Code Enforcement Officers will partner with several other County agencies, including Affordable Housing Services, Animal Services, Public Utilities, and Public Works, along with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Electric Company workers for the clean-up campaign.

For information about materials that will be accepted at the drop-off point, contact Hillsborough County Code Enforcement at 813-274-6600.

Operation Fight the Blight: Gibsonton is Code Enforcement’s fourth clean-up campaign this year. Previously, Code Enforcement assisted residents in the Palm River, Timberlane and Wimauma, removing more than 257 tons of discarded items and inspecting approximately 1,638 properties.
Hillsborough Code Enforcement’s Operation Fight the Blight program received the 2012 American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Code Enforcement Techniques.

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