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Session 8: Backstage Pass County Services

This session of Backstage Pass overviewed some of the services available in Hillsborough County. It was a bit of an overload and all of it good. From Code Enforcement to Veterans Services to Pet Resource, Library Services and more, we have tremendous resources available to us. I’ll only highlight three areas in this blog.

If you have lived in the county forever and haven’t touched base with some of the services available, you may want to revisit them. In the last four or five years there has been a shift in what our county services offer and how they are connecting with the public.

Code Enforcement

I know. You hear code enforcement and your eyes roll back in your head. But this session was eye opening!

I’ve never seen a group of people who really love their job as much as the people telling us about the code enforcement department. We may cringe when we think about getting code enforcement involved; but, they are really there to save us from headaches down the line. They’ll check on permits for you, review plans and inspect work to be sure you don’t have headaches down the road.

Besides an overview of the entire process of permitting, they also gave us a very helpful hint. They said that if you are having a contractor do work for you, never get the permits for the work yourself. Always have the contractor pull them. Who ever signs for the permit is responsible of the work being done correctly. So if your contractor has gotten the permit, don’t give them the final payment until after the inspection is done and the work is approved. This will ensure they did the job right and you aren’t stuck to fix their mistakes! Thank you code enforcement.

To get any permit, whether it's for your home or a huge facility, like the Lightening Practice Facility, they all go through the same process.
To get any permit, whether it’s for your home or a huge facility, like the Lightening Practice Facility, they all go through the same process.
Code Enforcement is excited to work with the Fire Department. To have everything work more efficiently, they even have two officers working in their office.
Code Enforcement is excited to work with the Fire Department. To have everything work more efficiently, they even have two people from the fire department working in their office.

Pet Resources

Who doesn’t love a puppy? Well, Hillsborough County does. They showed the love every day to over 18,300 animals last year! They were also able to place 16,131 of them into homes.

Something to be proud of:  With Hurricane Irma on its way, they were concerned about the high influx of animals to shelters and pet being left behind to fend for themselves, should things get tough. Governor Scott stepped in and allowed the transfer of animals out of our shelters into other shelters in Pennsylvania, new Jersey and Atlanta, to create space. It also gave those animals a new chance at adoption. They also made sure there were more pet friendly shelters available. This saved our county $250,000.

About four years ago they brought in Richard Mills as a new director. His main focus was to improve public safety and increase pet care. Here are some accomplishments of the years:

  • Lowering the the live output rate from only 38% (in 2011) to 91% (in 2017).
  • Created an online abuser registry
  • Created playgroups for dogs

Want to volunteer? Anyone can volunteer at the shelter. They need people to walk and play with the dogs, fix doggie treats and other things to make their facilities go. Go to HCFLGov.net/pets and volunteer.

Library Services

Oh my! The library is so much more that dusty books these days. They have really worked hard to be a resource center for so many things! For example, did you know that the library offers (for FREE) the training and use of:

  • Media Space (computer and screens)
  • Maker Space with 3-D Printers
  • Recoding Studio
  • Sewing Machines
  • Learning Circles

There are so many thing available now at the library, it makes your head swim. My favorite was something called the Discovery Pass. This was new to me. Hillsborough County Library has partnered with places like museums, the Plant Museum, Tampa Theater and more. They will admit two or four people on each checked out ticket.

If you haven’t been to a library in a long time, go! you’ll be glad you did.

There were so many services that I just can’t get to that were covered in this class. there were just some of my favorites. I wanted to give you a glimpse of what the county is offering now. So get out there and enjoy!

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