$1.3 million approved for street paving
Traffic could get tricky next year. By a 5-0 vote, city commissioners on Monday approved spending about $1.3 million on 45 repaving projects to start in January.
The milling and repaving work is expected to last three to four months and will be halted temporarily during the Florida Strawberry Festival, Feb. 28 to March 10.
Altogether, 8.2 miles are designated for work. Some of the projects are nearly a mile in length and others at less than a tenth of a mile.
The targeted areas — from the Plant City Industrial Park to neighborhoods in eastern Plant City and Walden Lake — are scattered around the city. Ajax Paving Industries was hired to perform the work.
City Manager Greg Horwedel said the effort is part of a 30-year work cycle. Engineers will develop a new list of problem roads next summer to start the cycle all over again.
"We'd like to tackle more streets, but don't have the budget for it," Horwedel said.
Officials are preparing a link on the city's website, plantcitygov.com, to show where the repaving work will happen. That link will be available in about a week, he said.
Youth football tourney returns
For the second year in a row, championship youth football is coming to Plant City.
The United Youth Football League will hold a six-day national tournament at the Otis M. Andrews sports complex, 2402-2602 E Cherry St., starting Sunday.
Plant City residents are urged to watch the games. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 7 to 15.
The athletes, who are 6 to 16 years old, represent 140 teams from 22 states. A cheerleading competition is set for Dec. 8 at the University of South Florida Sun Dome.
"All categories of local businesses benefit through increased sales, while hosting these visitors from all over the country," Parks and Recreation director Jack Holland said.
"Location is key and our community has been very receptive to out-of-town visitors," Holland said. "We have a lot of Southern charm, so to speak, and they were very pleased last year and anxious to come back again this year."
Strawberry Fest adds country act
The Strawberry Festival has added another big name to its roster of musical acts that already includes Blake Shelton, Scotty McCreery and Martina McBride.
Randy Houser has been tapped to perform at the festival on March 3 at 3:30 p.m.
Houser has collaborated with several musicians in recent years, including Trace Adkins and Justin Moore, and had a top 20 hit, Anything Goes, on the Billboard country music charts in 2008.
Vote for Christmas tree until Dec. 19
Picking your favorite Christmas tree could pay off.
The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce is running a Christmas tree contest through Dec. 19 to select the best decorated tree at 21 Plant City businesses. Voters will have a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card in a Dec. 19 drawing. Voters 18 and under can win a $25 gift card. Cards can be picked up at the chamber at 106 N Evers St.