By JOHN BALZ and JACKIE RIPLEY
City acquires land for future road work
ARBOR GREENE -- Road improvements are progressing in New Tampa as more land changes hands.
The city has acquired a 100-plus foot stretch of land along Cross Creek Boulevard that it will eventually use for an additional traffic lane in each direction.
The strip of land, which is now just a strip of grass, was owned by the Arbor Greene Joint Venture. In exchange for handing it over to the city, Arbor Greene received $370,000 in transportation impact fee credits.
The land runs along the south side of Cross Creek from Clay Gully to Arbor Greene.
The city is scheduled to widen Cross Creek from two lanes to four. Construction on the $1.2-million project begins next year.
Wal-Mart gets more time to persuade residents
CITRUS PARK -- Wal-Mart has been given until March 20 to persuade Logan Gate residents it can be a good neighbor.
That's basically what the company must do before Hillsborough County commissioners will grant the retail giant a "brownfield designation." Brownfield status will give Wal-Mart tax credits for cleaning pollution from the site of its proposed store at Gunn Highway and Henderson Road.
A decision was expected Thursday, but Wal-Mart asked for more time.
In January, county commissioners held up approval of the designation until there could be more communication between developers and neighbors on areas such as traffic, noise and buffering.
And commissioners want assurances that plans for the site are consistent with the county's comprehensive plan.
Elections supervisor shows off new machines
TAMPA PALMS -- Hillsborough County of Elections Supervisor Pam Iorio was at the New Tampa YMCA on Thursday night showing off the spiffy new voting machines and explaining why Florida won't be the butt of election jokes this fall.
Iorio is considering a run for mayor and, given her national name recognition, her odds are good. Newspapers are filled with speculation about her candidacy. But not one of the 25 audience members asked if she planned to run.
Was she surprised? "No," she said. "I think that's an issue that's much more talked about in newsrooms than it is among voters."
Iorio said she's asked if she'll run at about half the community meetings she attends.
For the record, if anyone had asked, her answer would have been the same as before: Undecided.
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