Neglected Valrico property gets cleaned up - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Neglected Valrico property gets cleaned up

Posted: Updated:
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Neglected Valrico property gets cleaned upMore>>

  • Commissioners want action on Valrico property mess

    Commissioners want action on Valrico property mess

    Wednesday, March 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-03-19 23:00:30 GMT
    A decade of code violations and nearly one million dollars in fines on a Valrico property went unnoticed until a couple of phone calls and one story by 8 On Your Side.
    A decade of code violations and nearly one million dollars in fines on a Valrico property went unnoticed until a couple of phone calls and one story by 8 On Your Side.
VALRICO, FL (WFLA) -

There is light at the end of the tunnel in county code enforcement quagmire in Valrico.

For weeks, 8 On Your Side has revealed how Hillsborough County proved impotent dealing with a neglected Valrico property.

Now, that is changing and clean-up is underway.

Where jungle thick trees, vines and weeds once stood at 1602 Main Street in Valrico, there are now large swaths of the lot that heavy machinery has worked to clear and flatten.

The property is owned by Richard and Glenda Smith. Hillsborough County began citing and fining the Smiths for code violations in 2003 for overgrowth and accumulation of junk and debris.

Their fines now total close to $1 million.

It is the compassion of Smith's co-workers - not fear of county action - that got the ball rolling here.

Friday morning, work crews dragged junk and debris to a dumpster. A Bobcat scooped up mounds of old tarps, rotting logs and tires, and dropped it into a dumpster

The Seminole Indian tribe of Florida donated the manpower and equipment for the clean-up.

According to Seminole Police Lieutenant Jerry Herren, Richard Smith is a Seminole employee and he needs help.

"Our objective is to not only help a person that works with us, we're also trying to help him with his neighbors, so that everybody can live in harmony," Herren explained.

Workers filled a total of three dumpsters Friday.

8 On Your Side contacted Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham nearly a month ago about this problem property.

Higginbotham worked behind the scenes, reaching out to the Tampa Bay Builders Association, which contacted Richard's Hauling Services. Richard's supplied the dumpsters and hauled them off.

As the clean-up wound wrapped up, Higginbotham met with Ed Tewmey, the neighbor who contacted 8 On Your Side after the county failed to force a clean-up.

Higginbotham also met with property owner Richard Smith.

"Obviously it was a family that needed help and here we are helping them. You guys did a great job helping bring this to the attention of all of us and we are getting something done. That is good," Higginbotham said.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • Koala survives 54-mile ride clinging to car's grill

    Koala survives 54-mile ride clinging to car's grill

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:59:42 GMT
    Timberwolf clung to a car for 54 miles. Australia Zoo Facebook photoTimberwolf clung to a car for 54 miles. Australia Zoo Facebook photo
    An adorable little koala survived an amazing high-speed ride by clinging to a car for 54 miles on an Australia highway. The koala suffered a torn nail during the ordeal.
    An adorable little koala survived an amazing high-speed ride by clinging to a car for 54 miles on an Australia highway. The koala suffered a torn nail during the ordeal.
  • FWC: Lionfish need to be removed from Florida waters

    FWC: Lionfish need to be removed from Florida waters

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:07 GMT
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is changing management rules of invasive lionfish to remove them from state waters. Lionfish was introduced to state waters in the 1980s, and since then, populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat, the FWC says.
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is changing management rules of invasive lionfish to remove them from state waters. Lionfish was introduced to state waters in the 1980s, and since then, populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat, the FWC says.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.