Cart-to-Curb waste collection system on its way to Plant City
The City of Plant City announced last week its new automated waste collection system, Cart-to-Curb, will make its debut in town next summer.
“Plant City’s waste collection vehicles need to be replaced, so it made sense for us to look at all the options, including automated ones,” City Manager Bill McDaniel said in a press release. “We found that the Cart-To-Curb automated system will increase efficiency, allow for quicker waste collection, provide a more uniform look throughout the city and will be cleaner, neater and more sanitary, which is especially important during the flu season and with COVID-19. We know residents will have questions and concerns, and we want to hear them and respond to them.”
Collection vehicles with hydraulic arms pick up the carts, which will be provided to residents in city limits at no cost. Carts will come in three different sizes depending on residents’ individual needs. The plan is to roll out the program in the summers of 2021 and 2022.
Before anything happens, however, the City of Plant City is looking for residents’ input. The city is offering groups and neighborhoods the opportunity to get a full presentation with a Q&A, and anyone interested in scheduling an appointment can do so by contacting the Plant City Solid Waste Department at 813-757-9208 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by email at email@example.com. The city will also mail informational materials to residents and will have more information posted online at plantcitygov.com.
“This rollout will be smoothest and most successful if we get input from as many people as possible,” McDaniel said. “I hope every organization, church group and civic and social club in the city will host a presentation to help us get the word out about the new automated system. We also can conduct virtual meetings.”
State Fair delayed to April
Citing COVID-19 concerns, the Florida State Fair Authority Board of Directors announced Dec. 18 its decision to postpone the annual fair and the majority of activities until April 2021. While the Market Steer and Swine Show competitions are still scheduled to be held in February, the other competitions, entertainment, carnival and more are to be rescheduled.
“With no guarantees in our current environment, moving the dates of the Florida State Fair to April 2021 provides a better opportunity to host the large event,” the board said in a press release. “Additional details surrounding the 2021 Fair and its full health and safety guidelines will be shared in the coming weeks.”
PCFR names Firefighter of the Year
Plant City Fire Rescue announced Dec. 15 that firefighter/paramedic Justin Stokes won its Firefighter of the Year award for 2020.
Stokes, a Field Training Officer, helps guide new paramedic trainees and the department described him as “eager to train others while continuing to grow himself” in an announcement posted to its Facebook page.
“Justin is a highly respected member of the department, he always demonstrates the importance of having a positive attitude and encourages others,” PCFR said in its announcement. “Plant City Fire Rescue personnel have noticed Justin’s efforts and are honored to announce him as the recipient of this year’s Firefighter of the Year.”
HCSO Detention Class 2004 sworn in at festival grounds
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office welcomed 25 new detention deputies to its ranks on Dec. 18, swearing them in at the TECO Expo Hall at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds.
“Each of these cadets has overcome adversity in their personal and professional lives,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a press release. “Despite COVID-19, they pushed forward with their pursuit of a career as a detention deputy by joining the academy. I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve accomplished. Their commitment and determination are exactly what we need in public servants of Hillsborough County.”
New Tax Collector office open
Construction on the newest Hillsborough County Tax Collector office, located at 4706 Sydney Road, is complete and the office officially opened to the public on Monday.
The 17,000-square foot building replaces the previous office, which was located in the Strawberry Plaza on James L. Redman Parkway, and cost more than $4 million to build. It is more energy-efficient with LED lighting, insulation and air conditioning units and has a much larger lobby.
“The timing of this office opening is ideal provided we are mandated to ensure our customers and staff are able to safely maintain social distance while conducting business with us,” Tax Collector Doug Belden said in a press release.
Owning this building instead of renting in the Strawberry Plaza, Belden’s office said in a press release, will save taxpayers about $300,000 per year. Visit hillstax.org for more information or to schedule an appointment.