Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Tuesday a new commitment to revitalize Tampa's poorest communities. Sulphur Springs Neighborhood will be the first to get a face lift.
Buckhorn and the community leaders discussed the Nemehiah Project Tuesday. The project includes demolition of vacant, run-down properties. The Sulphur Springs area will get rid of 51 old dwellings.
Mayor Buckhorn led a demolition of an old house like that today to kick off the project.
"You get hookers in here and drug dealers and this is where they hang out, and then house by house, the cancer spreads," Buckhorn said. "You really have to come in and eradicate this. Otherwise, it just
Spreads and spreads and spreads."
clean city division will take care of the cleared lots. Sulphur springs will also get a new set of street lights as part of Buckhorn's "bright lights, safe nights" initiative.
Each demolition costs $5,500, the money coming from the general funds, according to the mayor's office.
Resident Reeshemah McCoy-Green says the empty homes are an invitation for crime.
"One time I came home from church and there was a gentleman in my son's room," she said. "It was the scariest thing that I could ever imagine."
So she was elated to hear about the city's Nehemiah project. She said it's enough to make her change her mind about moving out of the neighborhood.
"I was like well since they stopped building and the houses are being abandoned, they're not worth as much, I should leave." she said. "Why would I stay? But I prayed and stayed, and I'm seeing a change, and I'm very proud."
200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606
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