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Infrastructure in the News

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With the discussion of transportation and overall infrastructure being raised and considered on the highest level. keeping up with regional trends is essential.

St. Petersburg, Florida, Considering Destroying Pier.

WUSF-FM Tampa, FL (8/18, Wantuck) reported, "Today in a straw vote, St. Petersburg city council members decided to tear down the "inverted pyramid" that has stood along the waterfront pier for decades. Council Chair Leslie Curran says the city only has $50 million which is barely enough to repair the approach to the pier." Curran stated, "We can take that $50 million and turn it into something that would be more usable, more economical in the end, reduce our subsidy and make it something that would be spectacular not just for the residents of St. Pete, but for tourists also." The article notes that St. Petersburg pays "a million dollars a year to subsidize the Pier."

El Paso, Texas, Approves New Freeway.

The AP (8.18) reported, "The El Paso City Council has approved zoning changes clearing the way for construction of the $80 million Trans Mountain Road freeway. The 3-mile highway will link Interstate 10 and the Franklin Mountains." The AP notes the city council voted in favor of various "updates to the city's development code to give the Texas Department of Transportation the green light for the project. Council members learned last week that the zoning to allow for commercial development of the mountainside land was already in effect." The plan also "includes walking and bicycle trails on both sides of the freeway."

Philadelphia, Mississippi, Building New Water Tank.

The Neshoba (MS) Democrat (8/18, Myers) reported, "A Louisville, Ky., company was awarded the contract for a new 500,000-gallon elevated water tank off Mississippi 16 west in the Williamsville area. Caldwell Tanks was the low bidder for the project at $937,000. The bid was accepted in a unanimous decision of the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Utilities. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to reimburse Philadelphia Utilities with 75 percent of the cost for the tank." John Burt, Philadelphia Utilities manager, said, "We were pleased because the bid came in under our budget which was $1 million. We are happy with that. We are excited to know that we are finally going to do this project." The article notes, "In addition to the Corps reimbursement, the city of Philadelphia was awarded a $100,000 grant through the Mississippi Development Authority's Small Municipal and Limited Population County Grant Program to help fund the project."

Cape Coral, Florida, Residents Upset Over New Trash Ordinances.

WZVN-TV Naples, FL (8/18, Creswell) reported, "With Cape Coral's new trash collection program about to begin in October, 96-gallon garbage cans are now being delivered to thousands of homes. The problem is that some of those homes are vacant! And that's not the only reason Waste Pro is feeling the heat. Instead of collecting garbage, the new bins from Waste Pro are collecting several complaints." The article goes into detail about complaints with local residents, who mostly complain about the placement of trashcans. But a Waste Pro spokesman states the company also has their own concerns, explaining, "It's difficult when they're trying to reach a production level everyday and maintain that in order to get the cans out by October first and be able to try to stop and identify" which homes are foreclosed and which ones are vacant.

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