Hillsborough County’s Code Enforcement Department has received the American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Code Enforcement Techniques for its innovative Operation Fight the Blight cleanup campaign.
Operation Fight the Blight consists of quarterly cleanup projects lasting from a week
to 30 days. Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Officers partners with several other County agencies, including Affordable Housing Services, Animal Services, Public Utilities Department, and Parks, Recreation and Conservation, along with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Electric Company workers to launch a multi-agency task force which takes direct aim on vacant buildings, trash, overgrowth, junk vehicles, abandoned properties, and other factors that make neighborhoods unsafe and unsightly.
The four Operation Fight the Blight campaigns targeted the USF area, Grant Park, Orient Park, and Ruskin. Since Operation Fight the Blight began in November 2011, the teams have:
· Collected nearly 1,900 discarded tires
· Inspected more than 1,000 properties
· Boarded up or demolished nearly two dozen abandoned homes
· Issued nearly 400 citations
· Cleaned more than 500 square feet of graffiti
· Filled nearly100 dumpsters with almost 200 tons of trash and debris
“Our unique ability to partner with internal and external agencies makes Operation Fight the Blight work,” said Dexter Barge, Director, Hillsborough County Code Enforcement. “Our residents and property owners reaped the benefits of this campaign. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this initiative that continues to improve the overall public safety of our community.”
County Code Enforcement also won the AACE Award in 2010 and the 2010 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its innovative Law Enforcement Liaison program.