Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mango Circle public housing complex finally gets safe playground

TARPON SPRINGS — Dakari Phillips climbed to the top of the slide in the Mango Circle public housing complex. With a big smile that showed a hint of apprehension, he took the plunge.

Dakari's hands and legs were in the air and all that could be heard was the 2-year-old's hearty laughter.

For more than a year, Dakari and the nearly 60 children who live in Mango Circle have been without playground equipment after the 60-unit complex's previous apparatus was removed because of its rundown and unsafe condition.

But last month, the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority took possession of equipment owned by the city of Tarpon Springs and moved it to the complex. Pat Weber, the authority's executive director, said it cost $13,890 to move the equipment from Lime Street to Mango Circle.

"It gives all the kids something to do," said Cameron Barnes, 13, who lives in Mango Circle. "As soon as everyone gets home from school, they rush straight to the park."

The city had to move the equipment, which includes a slide combination set for ages up to 12 and a swing set, because it was on a parcel on Lime Street that is part of an $11.5 million housing project that the Housing Authority just started.

"It's a perfect scenario to see the partnership between the city and the Housing Authority to benefit the kids so that they can have a place to play," Commissioner Chris Alahouzos said.

Mango Circle first drew attention in April 2009 after a St. Petersburg Times story described the rundown conditions of the complex's playground.

A National Playground and Park Association inspector delivered a scathing report that said the site was unsafe for children, and the playground was removed.

The Housing Authority was initially reluctant to replace the playground equipment because it had applied for a federal tax credit that would enable it to demolish the complex and build a new one.

But the authority later learned that Mango Circle, which was built in 1973, did not receive the needed tax credit. The authority plans to reapply for the credit.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at or (727) 445-4174.

Mango Circle public housing complex finally gets safe playground 11/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey


    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign


    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.