TAMPA — Rundown yards, junk cars, torn fences. They're all the target of Operation Fight the Blight, a 10-day code enforcement sweep of areas around the University of South Florida, which began Thursday.
"We have complaints from that area," Hillsborough County spokeswoman Carol Michel said. "We know there's a lot of violations out there and debris out there. There's a lot of things that need to be done. We just want to make the neighborhood safer and cleaner for people who live there."
On Thursday, county code enforcement officers and Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies joined with several other agencies and businesses including Animal Services, Neighborhood Relations and Tampa Electric Co. on the campaign.
The area stretches from E Bearss Avenue and N 22nd Street south to E Fletcher Avenue and west to N Nebraska Avenue.
Teams of workers are looking for abandoned property, graffiti, vandalism, junk cars, trash, overgrown yards and debris. Officers have the power to condemn rundown homes or buildings, which can be marked for demolition. They plan to cite some violators, and workers will assist residents in removing trash and debris, as well, county officials said.
Justin George, Times staff writer