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Ecopalms didn't own proposed cell tower site

Ecopalms was not the legal owner of property in Oak Park when it gave a company permission to build a cell tower there.

Still, the cell tower is coming.

Hillsborough County property records indicate that the cell tower site belongs to Ecopalms Inc. _ owner of 1,000 acres in Tampa Palms. But the true owner is a different, defunct company, said Maggie Wilson, a consultant with the Tampa Palms Community Development District. That company planned to deed the land to Ecopalms but never did.

Questions arose last month after Progress Telecom began erecting a 130-foot cell phone tower in the park without alerting Tampa Palms homeowners, and despite a stop-work order from the city.

The city has since granted Progress Telecom permission to resume building the tower. Work began Monday and will end Feb. 3, said George Townsend, manager of Progress Telecom.

Tampa Palms millage rate change to get council vote

TAMPA PALMS _ The Tampa City Council will decide Thursday whether the Tampa Palms Community Development District can raise its millage rate from 2.6 to 5 mills.

Officials say that in no way does this mean higher property tax bills for the foreseeable future. But in the event of an emergency, the district may need to assess a higher millage rate.

Currently, the owner of a $200,000 home minus the standard $25,000 homestead exemption pays $455 a year in taxes to the CDD. At 3 mills, that same homeowner would pay $525; 4 mills, $700; and 5 mills, $875.

The council read through the ordinance at its Jan. 15 meeting. It will review the request once more before voting on the ordinance at its Jan. 29 session.

_ RODNEY THRASH

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