By Tamas Mondovics

It has been nearly a decade since Seffner area residents were promised a public park to be built on county owned land adjacent to the Seffner-Mango Library located at 410 N. Kingsway Rd., in Seffner.

The wait, however, is almost over as the $400,000 passive park, currently under construction, is nearing completion with a scheduled opening in late spring or early summer.

Hillsborough County Commission designated the original 25-acre parcel for a park and library and has approved funding for the design and construction of the library in the fiscal 2007 and 2008 budgets.

Unfortunately, money was not available for the park at that time, county officials said.

A year later, in January 2009, the Seffner-Mango Branch Library was built on six acres and opened to the public with a traditional ceremony attended by members of the BOCC.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan spoke about the usefulness of the park during the library’s ribbon cutting ceremony, calling the park a “central focal point to the community.”

According to Hillsborough County Parks Services manager, Kyla Booher, when completed later this year, the project will have effectively turned the 19-acre parcel into a passive park to include community gardens, shade shelters, walking and jogging trails, landscaping, fencing and various site improvements.

The park was designed by Engineering Design Firm, Lauren D. Campo, P.E. Campo Engineering, Inc.

Booher said that throughout February and March, the project will see the completion of the garden along with its water irrigation as well as the installation of fencing and planting trees.

In April work on the shelter is scheduled for completion along with final touches including lighting.

“The earliest the park will open is late May,” Booher said. With nearly 10 years in the making, however, waiting a couple more months is a small price to pay.

It is noteworthy that the two-month-long renovation project of one the county’s largest and most heavily used parks in Brandon is also nearing completion.

The $315,000 makeover at Paul Sanders Park, at 602 W. Bloomingdale Ave., which began on February 1, is scheduled to be finished by the end of March.

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