If you are struggling with broken sidewalks in your community, help could be on the way. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted recently to use $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds to repair broken sidewalks throughout the county.
According to Hillsborough County, the Public Works Department maintains more than 3,200 miles of sidewalks with a budget of only about $550,000 a year to perform repairs. The $20 million approved by the BOCC dramatically increases the number of neighborhoods Hillsborough can improve by repairing and replacing broken sidewalks.
Sidewalks often are damaged over the years by tree roots or vehicles, and broken sidewalks can discourage residents from using them. Repairing sidewalks provides many benefits, including improved safety, greater mobility and healthier communities. By further separating people from traffic, sidewalks also reduce pedestrian injuries, supporting Vision Zero goals.
The Hillsborough County American Rescue Plan Investment Plan, approved by the Board of County Commissioners on September 1, 2021, provides a framework for investing the $285 million in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the community. The funding will support vital projects throughout the county related to water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; public health response; negative economic impacts; and revenue replacement for certain government services.
Projects funded by Hillsborough County must meet the guidelines established by the federal government while addressing the county’s unique community needs and reflecting the BOCC’s collective values in addressing residents’ needs. The sidewalk repairs are one of the programs funded under this plan by the BOCC.
If there is a sidewalk in your neighborhood that needs repairing, you can visit https://service.hillsboroughcounty.org/311/roads-sidewalks/ to report it. The report will ask for the location of the issue and a contact for follow-up questions. Additionally, it is possible to call the Hillsborough County Public Works Department Customer Service Center at 813-635-5400 to report. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.