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Roundup 3-31-2017

March 31, 2017


Transportation – Yes, But

— Don’t Ask, Don’t Get

— Nothing to See Here

— Conclusion

Planning – Where’s the Money

Rays – Making Statements

Downtown/Channel District – More Buying

Channel District – Another Buy

Ybor City – Project List

West Tampa – Demolition

Transportation – Brightline Happenings

Transportation – What Is Transit Worth in Home Prices

An Urbanism Tool

Just Because We Can


Transportation – Yes, But

As regular readers will know, the Tampa Bay Partnership has started a concerted public relations campaign to merge the local MPO’s and get a unified transit authority, two things we actually support in general (We reserve the right to point out issues in the details).  Coincidentally, the Times ran a couple of articles about transportation funding from the state.

— Don’t Ask, Don’t Get

The first article discussed how the Tampa Bay area has a poor recent record of getting money from the state for transportation:

Tampa Bay leaders aren’t shy about proclaiming the need for more transportation dollars.

There’s $1.2 billion of unfunded road projects in Pinellas County. That number climbs to more than $4 billion in Hillsborough.

Cash-starved transit agencies in both counties spend less per resident than counterparts almost anywhere else nationwide.

Local officials have considered everything from raising the sales tax to using BP oil spill settlement money to plug Tampa Bay’s growing transportation gap. Yet as they’ve scrambled to fill the void, Tampa Bay’s state lawmakers have taken a pass.

Those extra buses this region sorely needs? No House or Senate member has asked for them. The expensive widening of Lithia-Pinecrest Road in Brandon? Not on the list.

Legislators around the state asked for more than $700 million in transportation projects next year. The state’s two biggest counties, Miami-Dade and Broward, together asked for about $50 million.

But legislators in Pinellas asked for a paltry $6.2 million. In Hills­borough, the state’s fourth most populated county, lawmakers managed to request only $1.9 million in transportation projects.

That seems pretty bad.  And there is more:

A review of recent state budgets found that Pinellas and Hills­borough receive tens of millions less for transportation each year than similar-sized counties.

Although the general appropriations bill doesn’t outline all of the state’s transportation spending (such as operating costs or projects that cost less than a million), it includes major projects requested by legislators and those included in the DOT work program. The bill provides a measure of how successful each county is at securing money for road, pedestrian and transit projects.

In 2015-2016, for instance, Miami-Dade, Duval, Broward, Citrus, Orange and Palm Beach counties all received at least $50 million more for roads and transit than Hillsborough County, which received $185 million from the state.

Pinellas was even worse off, getting about $142 million that year. That ranks closer to counties like St. Lucie, whose 286,000 population is about a quarter that of Pinellas.

Things improved for Pinellas this year when it landed a whopper: $330 million for Gateway Express. The project is an offshoot to Tampa Bay Express, the state’s controversial transportation plan to bring 100 miles of toll lanes to the region.

But for Hillsborough, the disparity with other regions grows over time. Over the last three years, Orange, Broward and Duval all received at least $500 million more than Hillsborough. Miami-Dade, which has double Hillsborough’s population, received nearly $2.5 billion from the state for transportation projects. Hillsborough netted just over $500 million.

That gap could widen even more because, as this year’s state budget requests show, other regions are pursuing dollars more aggressively than Hillsborough or Pinellas.

Setting aside Gateway Express (which, we are generally ok with except the express lane part), what is the problem?

“We have no vision,” said Senate Transportation Appropriations Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. “In Tampa Bay, we haven’t built that foundation yet.”

Setting aside that who exactly is included in the visionless “we” is not clear:

Several Tampa Bay officials blamed the region’s lack of unity for the inertia.

For instance, Pinellas and Hills­borough each have their own transit agencies, when most major metro areas have one.

See below regarding the fault there.  Moving on:

Tampa Bay is also dramatically different from other regions in the country, which tend to have only one Metropolitan Planning Organization (the entity that puts together transportation plans). This puts Tampa Bay at a competitive disadvantage, said Rick Homans, president of the Tampa Bay Partnership, a regional group focused on economic development.

“You can see how fractured it is,” Homans said. “It’s incredibly inefficient.”

So as other regions have legislative delegations that work together for a common cause, Tampa Bay has a delegation of lawmakers who represent rival agencies. Homans said a DOT official told him that he finds himself acting as a referee trying to manage competing interests from each county.

“If there was one regional MPO, (DOT) could much easier take direction from that,” Homans said. “It would prioritize the regional projects and the big asks from Tampa Bay.”

Yes, having a unified MPO and transit agency could help (as long as it did not promote things like taking a free lane from the Howard Frankland Bridge to make it an express lane, like the Tampa Bay Partnership president supported).  But, really, that is not the issue in the article.  A fractured legislative delegation may make it harder to actually get the money, but, as noted above:

But legislators in Pinellas asked for a paltry $6.2 million. In Hills­borough, the state’s fourth most populated county, lawmakers managed to request only $1.9 million in transportation projects.

They did not even ask for their rival agencies.  You would think that with a fragmented approach without prioritizing the ask would be even bigger than a coordinated plan, not miniscule.

As for actually landing money, the fractured local politics is not helpful:

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, filed bills to transform the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority into a regional transit entity that would coordinate plans across four counties.

“It helps if you have an organized agency,” Latvala said. “We get state money for HART and for PSTA, but it’s not a coordinated multi-county approach.”

Latvala has tried for years to change this by suggesting Hills­borough and Pinellas transit agencies merge. While Pinellas was receptive to the idea, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority pushed back hard against Latvala.

Several transit lobbyists said that clash made it much more difficult for HART to get dollars for projects — including the regional bus ticketing system that the agency listed as its No. 1 legislative priority for three straight years. HART hoped the state would pay for about $6 million of the $12 million for the system. The Legislature shot down the request each time.

During that same period, lawmakers approved $9 million for express buses in Miami-Dade, $8 million for a streetcar in downtown Fort Lauderdale and $10 million for a bus transfer facility in Jacksonville.

Note, Duval County (Jacksonville) has fewer people than either Pinellas or Hillsborough, so a fragmented Bay area delegation that does not explain how other areas they got the money. (Especially with so many recent legislative leaders being from this area)  That is not absolving HART of behaving foolishly.  It is just pointing out a simple fact.

And, really, regarding landing money, there is no reason that the legislative delegation cannot ignore the bickering of local politicians and support funds for neighboring counties.  Legislators are not picked by local politicians.  Hillsborough legislators can vote for Pinellas projects and vice versa. (It’s not like Pinellas legislators don’t move around Hillsborough and vice versa.  They can see the problems.)  A unified legislative approach could be a model for local officials.

— Nothing to See Here

But setting all that aside, the Times then ran another article where various people tell us why the legislators do not ask for more, such as it is FDOT’s fault:

There are two paths toward earning state dollars for transportation: landing a spot in the DOT five-year work program or asking a legislator to place a line-item in the budget. A recent Tampa Bay Times review found that Pinellas and Hillsborough county lawmakers asked for far fewer line-items for transportation this year than their colleagues in other major counties.

One reason, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said, is that DOT officials make it clear they prefer local transportation planners to work through the agency process already in place.

The work program uses plans from county- and region-wide transportation planning groups to build a cohesive, five-year funding plan. Requests by state lawmakers for one-year allocations could be seen as circumventing that process, Kriseman said.

“You don’t want to do something that they perceive as going behind their back,” Kriseman said.

There is a perception within the agency that legislative project requests could affect the amount of money allocated for DOT, Kriseman said. Because of that, local and state politicians are encouraged to use the system already in place.

We’re not going to defend most of FDOT’s decision-making, but wait, there’s more:

But while some local leaders point to Tampa Bay’s fragmented region as a reason why senators and representatives aren’t making these asks, [Pinellas MPO executive director Whit] Blanton said there are identified priorities, both on a county and regional level, for which lawmakers can advocate.

For instance, a group comprised of MPO leaders from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco put together and adopted a list of regional transportation priorities for this legislative session. That list of preferred projects exists, but it’s up to someone to advocate for it, he said.

“We have a cultural, fragmented mindset we’ve got to overcome,” Blanton said. “And it’s certainly so much more than how many MPOS are in our region.”

Yes, we do have a fragmented mindset, but coming up with a common list is not fragmented. In fact, that is essentially what a unified MPO would do anyway.  And it removes the excuse of fragmented priorities.  And there is this:

County Administrator Mike Merrill said it is difficult for legislators to ask for state money when there aren’t any local dollars available to match.

“To put a legislator in a position of just saying, ‘give us $15 million,’ but not having anything to put up with it is probably not a good idea,” he said. “Once we can show that we have plan and it has a long-term funding source, then I think we’re in a better position to make a big ask.

Which is fine except the County found $800 million for road work this year.  How does that explain the minimal requests?  And even more:

Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said she wanted to make more transportation asks — she requested $500,000 for Hillsborough’s transit agency — but she needed the county or city to recommend a project.

Toledo said she called Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s office asking if they had any requests. His office provided information for a stormwater drainage project, which Toledo did ask for, but nothing for transportation, she said.

“As much as I want to do these transportation improvements, I can’t just invent them,” she said. “It’s something I have to get from the city or county, so I can then go through the appropriations process.”

Tampa certainly needs money to do stormwater improvements, but that is not transportation money. She didn’t even ask the County, which apparently did not ask her for anything either.

To summarize: it is FDOT’s fault; it is the legislators’ fault; and it is local officials’ fault. Apparently, there is blame to go around.  Even without formal structures, local officials can work together to develop lists of needs.  Legislators can advocate, cooperate, and vote for them.  (FDOT can deal or have its funding threatened by the legislature. It sure moved fast when locals officials and a legislator complained about the Howard Frankland.  If the Governor vetoes the money, so be it.  That is on the Governor.  He could veto regional requests, too.)

— Conclusion

So, yes, we support a regional approach (as long as it does not ignore neighborhoods and the average residents).  We favor regional transit.  We favor regional planning and a unified approach. We even favor merging transit agencies.  But 1) if local officials and legislators cannot get together even when there are lists of common priorities and needs and cannot work for the region overall when needs are obvious and 2) if the local officials and legislators have not figured out yet that they cannot get the money they want without cooperating, we are not sure that simply rearranging the chairs and unifying the MPOs will really solve anything.

Fractures institutions may have exacerbated the problem, but a fractured mentality is the real cause. Before rearranging the institutions can really accomplish anything, we need to fix is the mentality that led to this situation in the first place.

Planning – Where’s the Money

The County Fire Chief brought up an old issue this week:

Hillsborough County needs 25 new fire stations in the next 25 years to keep up with the thousands of people moving here each year, Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones told county commissioners Wednesday.

The county is already failing to meet emergency response benchmarks, Jones warned, and it will only get worse as Hillsborough grapples with one of the fastest-growing populations in the country. A new fire station hasn’t opened in a decade, though one is expected to go online in FishHawk later this year.

“We have an urgent need for more fire stations,” Jones said.

Rescue personnel respond to an emergency in less than seven minutes about 55 percent of the time in urban and suburban areas, well short of the department’s goal of 90 percent.

Which is not good.  But, as we said, it is not new:

It’s not the first time a county fire study has sounded the siren. A 2003 master plan called for 32 new fire stations by 2015. Instead, the county built five to bring the total to 42.

There is particular need for investment in south county, Jones said, where there hasn’t been a new station south of Bloomingdale in 30 years.

The issue, of course, is money. Capital costs, meaning the expense of building the fire stations and buying the trucks to fill them, would require about $20 million a year through 2031. Staffing those new stations would increase the operational budget for Fire Rescue by more than $70 million a year once the proposal is fully realized.

What was the response?

Commissioner Ken Hagan said the plan was “extremely aggressive” and the county will have a difficult time weighing it against other county needs.

A parks master plan is also in the works, and the county’s court system also has millions of dollars in unfunded projects planned. As is always the case in Hillsborough, there are plenty of transportation needs that loom over any budget conversation, as well.

“Additional funding sources need to be considered,” Hagan said.

“I’ll be honest with you — I feel there is some that feel that we have unlimited revenue and that our budget decisions do not have consequences,” he added. “Sooner or later, we will have an economic downturn and our chickens will come home to roost.”

It would seem that those chickens have already come home.  There is the lack of proper impact fees, the subsidizing sprawl, the poor planning, and poor budgeting (plus paying for pet projects like $15 million for playing fields).  Maybe the needs exceed the revenue, but that was easily predictable while the County was spending years not funding nor planning to fund what was needed.

As we said, this need is not new.  The road needs are not new.  The need for parks is not new.  The fact that we have busy courts did not sneak up on anyone.  And remember, the County found $800 million to spend on roads for the next ten years.  While the fire department plan may be aggressive, clearly more needs to be done.  Most of the Commissioners have been on the Commission for a while.  Why has nothing been done?

Rays – Making Statements

With baseball season approaching, there was a flurry of news about the Rays stadium search.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg revealed some complications in his team’s search for a new stadium on Thursday, yet said he’s still confident they will find a new home in the Tampa Bay area.

What were the Rays’ top five choices for a new stadium — three in Tampa and two in St. Petersburg — are unavailable. That may push the team’s time line for finding a new site from August to the end of 2017.

“We had some ideas on locations that just weren’t available, that I thought would have worked perfectly, but they’re off the table,” Sternberg said before the Rays’ game at their spring training site in Port Charlotte. “So we’re sort of moving down our list to Nos. 2, 3 and 4.”

* * *
“We did have a choice that we thought that was going to be ideal, a choice or two, and it was going to be unavailable. We would have had to flesh it out. But we’re working and trying to find out what will be next best.”

As a result, Sternberg said the team doesn’t know if it will find what he has previously described as a “pin-perfect” site. Later, he clarified his stance, saying he remained optimistic the team can find a stadium solution in the bay area.

So what are we talking about, exactly?

Four of the Rays’ top sites that are unavailable have long been the focus of speculation: the Heights, a 43-acre mixed-use project taking shape in downtown Tampa along a bend in the Hillsborough River; Jefferson High School in Tampa’s booming West Shore Business District; and two adjacent waterfront sites in downtown St. Petersburg, Albert Whitted Airport and Al Lang Stadium.

Sternberg confirmed those sites and mentioned a fifth that hasn’t been discussed before: the Tampa Tribune‘s old headquarters along the Hillsborough River, which is being demolished to make way for an eight-story apartment complex. The 4.2 acre site sold in 2015 for $17.8 million, and the Rays would have needed to assemble more land to build a stadium along that part of the river.

What was the problem with those locations?

There are all sorts of reasons why the first four sites wouldn’t and couldn’t work: The Heights’ owners were never interested in a baseball stadium; Jefferson High is a nonstarter because of neighborhood and political opposition; St. Petersburg residents voted to keep the airport at Albert Whitted in 2003; and the Rays’ 2008 proposal to build a new stadium at the Al Lang site was met with stiff opposition. Al Lang is also now being looked at as a Major League Soccer venue.

Hagan said Rays executives approached the owners of the Heights site about a year ago. But by that time, their plans to develop a 2.16 million square-foot development of office, residential and retail space had already coalesced. Heights developer Adam Harden has said repeatedly that his company did not consider making room for a potential Rays ballpark.

“A baseball stadium has never been in our plans,” he texted.

And that is fine with us.  The Heights location, while being on the water, is not really a good spot to bring in large crowds.  The highway access is not good and there is a real residential neighborhood right there.  Jefferson was clearly problematic.  And the Tribune land, while probably having a cool outfield view, is really tight.  So what is left in Tampa?

So what’s left for the Rays to choose from in Tampa? There’s the Tampa Park Apartments between downtown and Ybor City. There are more problematic sites far from downtown such as the Florida State Fairgrounds and the Tampa Greyhound Track. 

Coincidentally, the Tampa Bay Apartments is still our favorite site (aside from somewhere near the Amalie arena).  It would help connect downtown and Ybor City and give patrons something to do before and after the games if they want (and relatively convenient parking garages).  It is near the streetcar, whatever becomes of that, which also helps with access, parking, and pre/post game entertainment issues.  It will help redevelop the area.  And the site has decent access from both the interstates and the Selmon, as well as some surface roads

The one downside of the site is that open air or retractable roof stadiums tend, for baseball reasons, to have the batters looking east, which means the view looking towards the outfield will not include downtown, but that is a small thing.

Of course, even if a site is chosen, there still is the issue of paying for it and the stadium.

Downtown/Channel District – More Buying

SPP, the Lightning owners company bought more land last week.

Strategic Property Partners has acquired more property in Tampa’s urban core, including an events venue where the developer will move its offices and launch a marketing center for its project.

SPP, the real estate company controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, said Friday that it has closed on the 20,000-square-foot District 3 building at 802 E. Whiting St. as well as an adjacent 12,000-square-foot office building at 817 E. Washington St.

* * *

SPP will vacate its offices in Channelside Bay Plaza to move into the District 3 building in early 2018. The tenant in 817 E. Washington will remain.

Which is interesting, but more interesting is this:

The first phase of SPP’s development will include a full-service grocer, a boutique hotel, corporate office space and residential units. Ferg’s Channelside will be demolished to make way for a boutique office building. . .

“As we prepare for construction to begin on our phase 1 projects in 2018, our office space requirements have evolved, and our staff has grown,” SPP CEO James Nozar said in a statement. “The District 3 space is ideal for the collaborative work style that our staff enjoys, and with our high-quality design team onboard, we will breathe new life into this historic property.”

We have a general date when the main project will start.  This is the map included with the article:

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

Interestingly, the map has residential where the USF Med School parking garage goes (plus a grocery store, though it is not clear what kind).  That did not show up in the USF Med School rendering.  It is not entirely clear if there will be residential there or, if there is, how it will relate to the large garage.  Apparently, we shall find out relatively soon.

Channel District – Another Buy

Another major downtown land owner bought some more land last week.

The twin brothers who own and operate 717 Parking Enterprises have added a historic warehouse in downtown Tampa’s Channel district to their growing real estate portfolio.

Jason and John Accardi said Thursday that they have closed on the warehouse at 223 N. 12th St., known as the Artists Unlimited Inc. building for when it served as a collaborative space for local artists. The warehouse is 26,000 square feet and the purchase includes an adjacent surface parking lot.

* * *

Jane Levin and Barry Hanerfeld from Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. have been retained to market the space for lease to a “unique retail, office and or urban work space environment,” the Accardis said in a news release. The building has high ceilings and exposed brick walls throughout.

We hope that is actually the use, though we worry that the location it will be mostly used for surface parking, which, after all, is their main business.  We’ll just have to see about that, too.

Ybor City – Project List

The Times (on its Tribune website) had an article on one of the major developers involved in Ybor City.   While it was nice, we are not as interested in the personal profile part as the list they provided:

Projects of Quintela-Shaw partnership

And a couple of renderings that we have seen before, but still:

Casa Pedroso:

From – click on picture for article

The Marti:

From – click on picture for article

We like most of these projects and their attention to the feel of Ybor.  And all this activity is one more reason that the City should keep public land for future use.

West Tampa – Demolition

This week, the City started clearing some land which in the “West River” area.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn hopped into a giant excavator Wednesday morning to take the first bite out of the Water and Wastewater Maintenance Yard on Rome Avenue in West Tampa.

The city is demolishing the structure at that site to make room portions of the $350 million West River redevelopment plan, which includes a massive rehab to parts of West Tampa along the Hillsborough River north of downtown.

You can see the property here.  As you can see, it is not waterfront, but near where there could be waterfront development.

Plans call for putting out a proposals request for developers to build on the N Rome Avenue property, which the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office estimates has a market value of $2.5 million. Buckhorn doesn’t know what he expects to get for the site, since the city has not yet done an appraisal. Invitations to bid will probably go out in a few months.

The land has good views of downtown, and Buckhorn expected the property would be well-suited for an apartment complex with six- to eight-story buildings.

* * *

The site is a designated “brownfield,” meaning it may have contamination that would need to be cleaned up. For now, the city will demolish nine buildings on the site but leave the asphalt in place. The eventual developer will be eligible for state tax credits and other incentives for doing the cleanup.

The reality is that we don’t really know what might go here.  While the North Boulevard Homes project has slowed down because the Housing Authority did not get a federal grant, there is a case to me made for waiting to put out the RFP on the Rome property until the North Boulevard Homes project moves farther forward for two reasons: first, with more development towards downtown in this area making it part of a redeveloped urban neighborhood, this land will be more valuable, and, second, we will likely get a better project in a developer area than an empty area with only the promise of future redevelopment nearby.  We know waiting is hard (we have long wanted to see this area redeveloped), but, in the long run, it may very well be the better thing to do.

Transportation – Brightline Happenings

Just last week, we discussed a statement from Brightline (formerly All Aboard Florida) that they are going to look at connecting to Tampa in their next stage. This week, there were a couple of relevant news items regarding.  First:

Grupo Mexico, a mining and rail conglomerate, is buying the Florida East Coast Railway Holdings Corp. for $2.1 billion under an agreement announced Tuesday.


The sale of Jacksonville-based FEC Railway, which is owned by Fortress Investment Group, will have no impact on the company’s other holdings — including the Brightline passenger train operation in South Florida.

The investment group also owns Florida East Coast Industries, the parent company of All Aboard Florida, developer and owner of the Brightlight passenger train system being built from Miami to West Palm Beach and Orlando.

“The sale of the Florida East Coast Railway does not impact Brightline,” said a spokeswoman, AnneMarie Mathews. “Brightline is a separate company that has dual ownership of the corridor and the right to operate passenger service.”



A bill that could have made bringing high-speed rail to Tampa more difficult died in the Florida Legislature Tuesday.

House Bill 269 would have increased state and local regulatory authority over high-speed rail, but was temporarily postponed in the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. Tuesday was the subcommittee’s final meeting, which means the bill will not be heard again.

That is good to hear.

Transportation – What Is Transit Worth in Home Prices

There was an interesting item from Redfin regarding the effect on housing values of access to transit using the WalkScore transit score.

Homes with great transit access are extremely rare in U.S. cities. Less than one percent of homes that are listed for sale today are considered to be in a rider’s paradise (Transit Score of 90 and above). Yet in a survey of more than 1,300 people who bought a home last year, more than one in five said they wish they had paid more attention to the length of their commute from their new homes.To estimate how much transit access is worth when buying or selling a home, Redfin looked at the sale prices and Transit Score ratings of more than one million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016 across 14 major metro areas.Here are the price premiums of one point of Transit Score on a home, grouped by metro area.

* * *

On average, across the 14 metros analyzed, one Transit Score point can increase the price of a home by $2,040. But the price premium varies widely from metro to metro. One point of Transit Score in Atlanta bumps up the price of a home over one full percentage point, or $1,901.

You can see the results in more detail on the website here.

An Urbanism Tool

We also ran across a very interesting tool from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Atlas of Re-Urbanism.

As the National Trust’s ReUrbanism initiative seeks to build the successful, inclusive, and resilient cities of tomorrow, the Atlas of ReUrbanism is a tool for urban leaders and advocates to better understand and leverage the opportunities that exist in American cities.

The Atlas of ReUrbanism takes the massive amount of data currently available about cities and makes it more accessible, allowing for the exploration and discovery of connections between older buildings and economic, demographic, environmental measures. Whether you’re an activist, journalist, developer, or resident, the Atlas of ReUrbanism contains detailed information about the businesses and residents, buildings and blocks that make cities work for everyone. 

It includes a large amount of information, including maps (see here):

The Atlas of ReUrbanism is an evolving and expanding tool, allowing users to explore the built environment of American cities, block by block. Using our maps, you can interact with data on your city’s built assets, and click to layer demographic, economic, and environmental data from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, and more. The maps focus on the Character Score for buildings and blocks across 50 U.S. cities, as established in the Preservation Green Lab’s Older, Smaller, Better report. Individual building and block characteristics are also selectable and viewable.

So far they do not have maps of Florida cities, though those are apparently coming.  Nevertheless, the website is very interesting for those interested in such things.

Just Because We Can

Here is a recent picture of Aquatica on Bayshore:

(c) Tampasphere – Click on picture for larger version


One Comment leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    March 31, 2017 6:45 PM

    Hi, This might be of interest to you.  So many things wrong with this.  I am not tech savy so please forgive the round about way to get to the news item.   When you hit the link below, a pop up comes up.  Hit the small tab:  Edit link.  The interview comes up.  Please let everyone know about this scam.  Thanks. Target 8: Hillsborough County pushes private company’s product to water customers for moneyElizabeth Belcher

    From: tampasphere To: Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 12:06 AM Subject: [New post] Roundup 3-31-2017 #yiv9178981195 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9178981195 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9178981195 a.yiv9178981195primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9178981195 a.yiv9178981195primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9178981195 a.yiv9178981195primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9178981195 a.yiv9178981195primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9178981195 | tampasphere posted: “ContentsTransportation – Yes, But— Don’t Ask, Don’t Get— Nothing to See Here— ConclusionPlanning – Where’s the MoneyRays – Making StatementsDowntown/Channel District – More BuyingChannel District – Another BuyYbor City – Project ListWe” | |

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