Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hundreds of water-clogged Grand Prix tires prompt mosquito concerns

ST. PETERSBURG — Hundreds of tires for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg have been exposed to the elements at a city storage yard, prompting Pinellas County to press for a solution to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses.

The problem arose again Friday, when tires were found uncovered, with water and mosquitoes in them at the yard near Interstates 275 and 375, county public works officials said.

A city worker who had repeatedly complained about the tires said the county was handling the Grand Prix with "kid gloves" and putting workers at risk for disease, according to a county e-mail.

As a result, the county's code enforcement office will issue a notice for mosquitoes, which could lead to a fine the hazard not corrected within five days, said Sue Bartlett, assistant director of the county's public works operations. She was unsure whether the race or the city would be cited.

Part of the county's increased pressure involves recent health scares. Two people have died this month in Hillsborough County from mosquito-borne disease, prompting a health alert.

No disease has been linked to the yard, Bartlett said, but the county has had trouble reaching Grand Prix officials to resolve the problem.

Friday's complaints came roughly three months after Pinellas Mosquito Control found the tires uncovered and sprayed them with pesticide, then demanded the tires stay covered.

Roughly 1,500 tires — used as banking for racing safety — are stored at the yard, though race and city officials said a few hundred were found exposed Friday.

A contractor had delays installing the tarp after this year's March race, before the first demands by the county, said Tim Ramsberger, vice president of the Grand Prix. He said he was unaware of any problems until officials contacted him Friday. A contractor was due to repair the tarp by today.

"We'll fully comply with the county," Ramsberger said, noting that "storing this stuff out at the yard has always been satisfactory to the city, the county."

But city officials also said they had trouble reaching Grand Prix managers, whom they say are responsible as part of a storage agreement.

If a cover isn't secured, the county could force the tires to be stored elsewhere. But city officials say they lack the warehouse space to store the tire stacks, described as 30 feet across by 50 feet wide and 40 feet tall.

If the Grand Prix fails to get the tires covered, the city will pay to have it done and charge the race, Kevin Dunn, the city's development manager, and Public Works Administrator Mike Connors said.

City Administrator Tish Elston said she had ordered monthly checks of the tire pile, but may order more frequent reports.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8779.

Hundreds of water-clogged Grand Prix tires prompt mosquito concerns 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75

    Accidents

    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  2. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  3. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette

    News

    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  4. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494
  5. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 139, collapses buildings in Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 139 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]