Plans to remove 86 trees from the medians along a 7-mile stretch of U.S. 41 that runs through Lutz won’t move forward anytime soon.
That’s the word from Hillsborough County officials who attended a Jan. 24 meeting with community members on the issue.
“Give us some time to be able to look at all the alternatives,” Deputy County Administrator Lucia Garsys told more than 100 attendees.
Speaker after speaker addressed county staff members to voice opposition to the proposal to remove trees and other landscape plantings to pave the way for the Florida Department of Transportation to take over maintenance of the medians.
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“You are now in Lutz – this is a different place,” said Mike White, founder of the Lutz Citizens Coalition. “We’re trying to be independent. This is our community. We will take care of our community.”
The county had planned to remove many of the trees along U.S. 41 in order to prepare the medians to go back under FDOT’s authority. The county has maintained the medians for years even though U.S. 41 is a federal road under state care.
Hillsborough initially agreed to handle maintenance because FDOT does not have the funding to cover landscaping in its budget. The county, however, has said it can no longer afford to keep up with the work along the medians from the apex of Nebraska and Florida avenues to the Pasco County line.
That may now change.
“We’ll get answers to all of you folks very soon,” Garsys said.
Check back with Lutz Patch for more in-depth coverage of the meeting.
What do you think should happen with the trees? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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