Archived Blogs & Articles

Posted: 2/10/2016
Public info meeting Feb. 24 for upcoming intersection improvements in Carrollwood

Residents in Carrollwood can learn about an upcoming project to improve traffic flow and safety for the Gunn Highway and Linebaugh Avenue intersection during a pre-construction public information meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Hillsborough County Public Works is planning to add eastbound and westbound right turn lanes on Linebaugh Avenue. On Gunn Highway, plans at the intersection include adding a northbound left turn lane and lengthening the existing southbound left turn lane. The project will also provide traffic separators, pavement widening and resurfacing, drainage improvements, pedestrian safety features, 8-foot multi-use sidewalks, bike lanes, and a new traffic signal system.

The meeting will have an open house format and attendees can review and comment on the construction plans with Public Works representatives.

DATE: Wednesday, Feb. 24
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
PLACE: Cannella Elementary School
10707 Nixon Road in Tampa

The purpose of this meeting is to present details of the $3.6 million Capital Improvement project and provide construction information to area residents. Work is expected to begin in late February 2016 and should be completed in approximately eight months.

Information presented at the meeting will also be available on Hillsborough County's website, under the Transportation Projects link.

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, contact Steve Valdez. (TTY: 813-301-7173)


SteveValdez,Citizen Services ManagerHillsborough County

Posted: 2/10/2016
Children's Board releases Town Hall report
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Between December 2014 and October 2015, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County conducted six Community Town Hall Meetings designed as information sharing and listening sessions to identify region-specific, as well as countywide child safety concerns.

The meetings were held bi-monthly at the six Children’s Board Family Resource Centers. The centers are located throughout Hillsborough County and offer programs and services emphasizing child development and health and safety at no cost to Hillsborough County residents.

The specific goals for this series of meetings were to:

  • Develop a “map” of the top child safety challenges facing children in Hillsborough County
  • Seek input from community members about the implementation of programs and services
  • Identify priorities for public policy work agendas
  • Recognize organizations and identify programming that are currently successful and accessible in different communities, as well as identify gaps in resources
  • Determine assets and potential partnerships

Town Hall attendees were asked for their input on issues including environmental concerns, neighborhood safety, and risks to families. All feedback and discussion points were noted and considered. Information was also gathered from attendees to identify barriers and potential solutions for specified child safety issues.

Topics covered in the report include the "Safe and Sound Hillsborough" mapping project, violent crime, child abuse, domestic violence, family poverty, and truancy.

Download the report »

Posted: 2/10/2016
Hillsborough students will get free rides on HART buses
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TAMPA — Middle and high school students can ride the buses in Hillsborough County for free between March 1 and June 10. The Hillsborough County School Board approved the agreement with the Hillsborough County Commission and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) at the school board's meeting on Tuesday.

The partnership is designed to encourage more students to take advantage of public transportation and get in the habit of using transit instead of driving.

Rides will be free on any HART Local, Limited Express, MetroRapid, In-Towner or HARTFlex bus to any middle or high school student 18 years old or under who can produce a school identification card.

Transit officials will collect data that they'll use for future planning. The schools, for their part, will conduct educational campaigns to teach students how to ride safely.

"We're going to learn some things from this," said Cindy Stuart, who's a member of both the school board and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization. "We're going to hopefully increase ridership and educate kids on how to use transit in this county. "

Source: Tampa Bay Times »

Posted: 1/25/2016
Gift cards offered for exchange of mercury-containing devices
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Hillsborough County has extended a program for residents to exchange hazardous mercury-containing devices for a $5 grocery store gift card through June 20. The upcoming Money 4 Mercury exchange dates are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the no-fee Household Hazardous Waste Collections on the following Saturdays:

  • May 16 at the East County Collection Site, 6209 County Road 579 in Seffner
  • June 6 at the Sheldon Road Collection Site, 9805 Sheldon Road in Tampa
  • June 13 at the South County Collection Site, 13000 U.S. Highway 41 in Gibsonton
  • June 20 at the East County Collection Site, 6209 County Road 579 in Seffner

Examples of mercury-containing devices that are eligible to be exchanged 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 the mercury collection event, visit, contact Hillsborough County Solid Waste at (813) 209-3042, or email

Residents are encouraged to bring other household chemicals and hazardous wastes to the collection event for proper no-cost 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 residents and safely dispose of 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: 1/25/2016
Join the next Children's Board Town Hall Meeting
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The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County will be holding Town Hall meetings to seek community input on child safety in your community. Please join us for a conversation on how we can work together to make Hillsborough County the best place in the nation to raise children. All meetings will begin at 5:00 pm.

June 11, 2015
Children’s Board Family Resource Center, North Tampa
1401-A E. Fowler Ave., Tampa

August 13, 2015
Children’s Board Family Resource Center, South County
3030 E. College Ave., Ruskin

October 8, 2015
Children’s Board Family Resource Center, Brandon
1271 Kingsway Road, Brandon

Posted: 1/20/2016
Library Cooperative wants feedback for the future
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The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative wants to hear from residents about the future of local public library services, programs, and facilities.

Beginning Jan. 19 and lasting through the spring, the Cooperative has scheduled a series of evening open houses at libraries across Hillsborough County to gather public input on such topics as which library services are working well, suggested improvements, facility design, and ideas for future partnerships and community-building. The information will be used to develop a new 5-year plan for the County's public libraries.

Residents are encouraged to attend any of the open house sessions to participate in the planning process and offer comments.

All open houses will take place on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Jan. 19 at the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Public Library, 11211 Countryway Blvd., Tampa
  • Feb. 2 at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa
  • Feb. 16 at the New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa
  • March 15 at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library, 1505 Nebraska Ave., Tampa
  • March 29 at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico
  • April 12 at the Seffner-Mango Branch Library, 410 N. Kingsway Road, Seffner
  • April 26 at the SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin
  • May 10 at the Jan Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave., Tampa
  • May 24 at the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant City
  • June 7 at the Temple Terrace Public Library, 202 Bullard Parkway, Temple Terrace

The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative includes the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library with 26 facilities in unincorporated Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa, the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City, and the Temple Terrace Public Library. Together, the libraries and two bookmobiles host more than 4 million walk-in visits and more than 7 million online visits a year. The libraries annually circulate approximately 9.9 million materials ranging from paperbacks and Ebooks, to music and movies, to ukuleles. Customers may borrow items from any of the libraries in the Cooperative, and return them at any branch. The libraries also offer a wide variety of programs and presentations for all ages.

For more information about the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, visit

Posted: 1/12/2016
Channel District in downtown Tampa: ‘Hottest real estate market in region’

From the outside – meaning if you don’t live there – what you notice about Tampa’s Channel District is lots of tall, new buildings with art-deco architecture and ground-floor storefronts, more traffic, a big new gym and a park.

But for those on the inside, what’s happening there, or what they hope will happen, is the creation of a neighborhood.

There are going to be more big buildings and more people, as a seemingly endless parade of new, large-scale residential projects are started or planned.

The area has reached a “tipping point,” at which the number of residents is great enough to attract more businesses, and the conveniently located businesses attract more residents, says Robert McDonaugh, administrator in the city’s Economic and Urban Development Department.

About 3,300 people now live in the Channel District, and that number will grow to about 5,000 when projects currently under construction or seeking residents are completed and full – with more projects to come.

Continued on »

Posted: 1/12/2016
Experience 24 Hours in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa

Seminole Heights is to Tampa what Brooklyn is to New York.

Sure, it’s a stretch, but keep an open mind. It’s a place to live, work and play just outside “the city” with enough art, entertainment and character to please all types. Historic structures, cutting edge culinary ventures and corner taverns intermingle with mom-and-pop shops, up-and-coming young professionals and old-school holdouts.

It deserves a bigger moniker than Tampa neighborhood, it’s a unique destination all its own. So why not dub it a borough?

While there’s no subway and there are often several vacant blocks between favorite spots reminding you that its still evolving, on a Friday night when the craft beer and cocktails flow, kitschy art is in the spotlight and the culinary stars twinkle. If you squint just right, don’t you see the resemblance?

Continued on »

Posted: 1/12/2016
New restaurant, new homes help revitalize Sulphur Springs neighborhood in Tampa

A struggling neighborhood in Tampa sees a brighter future with city and private investments, including the opening of a new healthy food restaurant.

“The city of Tampa has undertaken several steps to improve the Sulphur Springs neighborhood,” says Bob McDonaugh, Economic Opportunity Administrator for the city of Tampa. “Sulphur Springs was a neighborhood particularly hard hit during the real estate crisis and had a large number of foreclosures which contributed to blight in the neighborhood. The city of Tampa is determined to assist this neighborhood to get back on its feet.”

Keith and Vanessa Malson also see the potential in the neighborhood, which is why a few months ago they opened the Sulphur Springs Sandwich Shop.

“We love the Sulphur Springs area. It’s where we live and we wanted to bring some positive energy to the neighborhood,” Vanessa Malson says. “Currently there are mostly fast-food restaurants here, so we wanted to offer an alternate that is reasonably priced but also offers healthier options.”

The new restaurant features all homemade food, made from scratch daily.

Continued on »

Posted: 1/5/2016
Hillsborough County solicits information about Affordable Housing needs

Hillsborough County needs your help in establishing the Community Development and Housing needs in our County for the 2016 – 2020 Consolidated Plan.

To assist in this effort the Affordable Housing Services Department has created a Needs Assessment Survey to record the valuable opinion of Hillsborough County residents. The answers to these questions will be carefully evaluated and reflected in the 2016-2020 Consolidated Plan and 2016 Annual Action Plan.

You may access the survey through SurveyMonkey at this address

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