Benches still haven’t been returned to downtown Tampa park

Hillsborough County

On Wednesday afternoon, Lykes Gaslight Park in Tampa is a bustling place.

The one thing missing is the park benches that used to be a staple in the downtown park.

They were removed by city workers in mid-March and still haven’t been returned.

“It’s been about six weeks now,” said Dezeray Lyn.

Lyn, and others with the group Tampa Food Not Bombs, which feed the homless in the park, thought it was too much then and think the wait is too long now.

In March, a city spokeswoman told 8 On Your Side that the benches were taken away so they could be repaired. There was no immediate indication on their return at the time.

“It looks bad for the city because they’re not doing nothing to help the homeless,” Anthony Myson said during our first report.

“The city doesn’t have any kind of real answer, other than they’re being refurbished. They had no contingency offered,” Lyn said Wednesday.

Now, group members are upset that flower planters have been put in, in the spots where the benches used to sit.

It has them wondering why?

“We keep asking the city to redirect money from these needless projects, even if it’s just a refurbishment project. We’re asking them to redirect those resources to human suffering,” Lyn said.

News Channel 8 reached out to a city spokeswoman for an up-to-date timetable, but we haven’t heard back.

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