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Sound off on condition of roads

County maintenance people will listen to opinions Feb. 7 and outline projects they can and cannot do.

By MELIA BOWIE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 27, 2002


It can be the little things that make driving in New Tampa a pain and rarely a pleasure. Next month county transportation officials want to hear all about them.

Maintenance specialists, who tackle everything from tree trimming and repairing potholes to road and drainage upkeep, will be in New Tampa on Feb. 7 for a 7 p.m. public workshop at the New Tampa Regional Library.

The event will help launch a new schedule of maintenance that will have crews rotating through New Tampa for monthlong stays, once every eight months.

"We're trying to get out and meet the neighborhood," said John Warren, an engineer with the Central Service Unit of Hillsborough County's roadway maintenance division. "We solicit reports back from the citizens because they're our eyes and ears. They're there when it rains, when problems are occurring."

Some said the upcoming session is a sign that the county is taking the initiative to handle New Tampa's road woes, and also that "New Tampa is becoming very, very visble now," said Carol Poland, vice president of the New Tampa Community Council. "For a long time people were saying, "Where are you?' "

During a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation, a team of county representatives will outline their resources and timetables, explaining projects they can and cannot do. A discussion with residents, to set an agenda, will follow.

Warren said the cyclic program was launched last spring but suffered setbacks, including a storm that knocked down 600 trees in Hillsborough County shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Central Service Unit is responsible for roads, rights-of-way, ponds and canals.

Work is expected to begin at the end of February.

- You can reach Melia Bowie at 269-5312 or bowie@sptimes.com.

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