Attendees are welcomed to the Public Works Academy (Bianca Hatten).

On October 16, Hillsborough County Public Works held its inaugural Public Works Academy program at the Water Resources Customer Service Center, located at 332 N. Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa 33619. Assistant County Administrator Kim Byer and her team of representatives from areas including capital programs, engineering and operations, infrastructure, transportation, road maintenance, and flood and mosquito management hosted the invitation-only event.

The exclusive two-and-a-half-hour presentation was highly interactive with the 20 participants, including community leaders and HOA representatives, engaging in several role-play scenarios centered on the many services provided by the Public Works department. One of the events had participants acting as county transportation engineers suggesting options on how best to resolve traffic bottlenecks at various intersections located throughout Hillsborough County.

Topics covered by department leaders included project timelines and why some projects take longer to complete than others, project selection criteria, process for investigated resident concerns that become future projects, budget information and how projects are funded and community engagement, among many others.

When asked specifically about the Durant Road at Little Road/Dover Road intersection improvements (CIP 69679043), Sandra Gonzalez, planning and design manager for capital programs, replied, “Construction is currently funded in fiscal year 2024. The land acquisition phase for this project is still underway and has taken much longer to complete than anticipated, which has caused a shift in the project’s construction schedule not a reassignment of funds.”

In the transportation program, project priorities are assigned to meet county transportation infrastructure needs in a strategic and efficient manner. Projects are measured and ranked based on several factors, including cost-benefit analysis, safety, future maintenance and the availability of funding (including restricted funding sources such as bonds, grants the Community Investment Tax, impact fees and certain gas taxes which are limited to use only on certain types of capital improvements by statute or other legal restrictions).

Each year, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is updated, removing completed projects, adding new needs and reprioritizing the list of capital improvement projects.

The Public Works department wanted to bring to everyone’s attention two very useful websites that allow residents to research and resolve many issues related to the services it provides. At the CIP Viewer, information can be found about all of the improvement projects planned for your specific area, and there is At Your Service HC, a portal where residents who have concerns, complaints or questions can find the appropriate party to speak with based on the issue at hand.

The Capital Improvement Program covers larger long-term investments in facilities and infrastructure adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. These projects address the system needs for improvement, expansion, maintenance, rehabilitation and renewal. Examples include the construction of transportation, stormwater, water and wastewater projects, along with buildings like fire stations, libraries and recreation centers. These investments often take years to build, and their costs may be distributed over time. The interactive resources are designed to offer the public insight into cost and timeline information on county projects. Project information is updated monthly. Private developer projects are not included. If you have questions or comments about a project, submit your inquiry by using the At Your Service portal or through the Online Public Comment Form.

For more information, visit

The At Your Service portal allows residents to make Hillsborough County online service requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your request will be routed directly to the team responsible for providing that service. Requests are monitored during regular business hours. For best results, sign up for a new customer service center account so that you can track the progress of your requests. Some of the services offered include animal services, building and construction, permits, licensing, zoning, mosquito control, parks, code enforcement and trash/recycling, along with many others.

For more information, visit and

The Public Works department also wanted to mention the Hillsborough County Engagement & Education Hub, the county’s online home for public education, outreach and listening efforts that help county leaders make decisions which influence the future of the community. The site has already accumulated over 50,000 subscribers and logged over 2.2 million responses. Stay in the know and make your voice heard on different projects happening in your neighborhood and throughout the community by signing up to become a subscriber.

For more information, visit

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Brian Bokor
Brian Bokor has lived in the Valrico area since 1997 and started writing freelance for The Osprey Observer in 2019. Brian (appraiser) and his wife, Sharon (broker), run a local real estate company (Bokors Corner Realty) as well as manage the Facebook page Bokors Corner, which highlights local-area commercial and residential development.