Tampa, FL July 18, 2013 - Mayor Buckhorn has directed the Neighborhood Enhancement division to go block by block in north and central Tampa over the next 30 days to combat blight and target flagrant violators.
"Blight is a quality of life issue for the people living under what can be very challenging conditions in these neighborhoods. In February, when we consolidated Clean City and Code Enforcement, we created the ability not to just enforce the rules, but to deal with the issues created by those who choose not to follow them,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "My direction to the Neighborhood Enhancement division is simple: be proactive and go after the worst of the worst."
The operation begins on Sunday, July 21, 2013. Neighborhood Enhancement officers will target serious blight issues. Inspectors will issue only civil citations, essentially fines for minor code violations, or a Notice to Appear before a Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge.
There are three specific areas with known blight issues within central and north Tampa that will be targeted over the next month. Those areas are as follows: Florida Avenue east to 22nd street between Busch Boulevard and Linebaugh Ave.; Central Avenue east to Florida Avenue between Bird St. and Sligh Ave.; 50th Street east to 58th street between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to I-4.
To complete the operation successfully, six inspectors will be dedicated to the program, and will be out in the community 7 days a week. The program will be reevaluated after the first month.
The effort is modeled after the City's successful efforts to target blight in Sulphur Springs, where dedicated Neighborhood Enhancement teams periodically go block by block through the neighborhood and continue to pick up, on average, three tons of trash every week since January 2013.
The division of Neighborhood Enhancement is part of the Neighborhood Empowerment Department. In February 2013, Mayor Buckhorn consolidated Code Enforcement and Clean City divisions into the Neighborhood Enhancement, with both divisions reporting under one leadership structure. There are now four Enhancement teams for each part of the City of Tampa with an additional rapid response team.
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