CLEARWATER — The city of St. Petersburg’s effort to transform its poverty-stricken southern neighborhoods took a major step forward Tuesday when the Pinellas County Commission endorsed a new approach to community redevelopment.
The commission voted 6-0 to move forward with the Southside Community Redevelopment Plan — and to try to get it done on the city’s aggressive timeline. The final commission vote is set for next month, but Tuesday’s move signaled clear support for strategies that have never been used in Pinellas before.
Pleased with revisions the city made to address county concerns, commissioners agreed the plan could serve as a model for tackling blight and poverty in other parts of the county.
“It’s pretty clear that this could potentially be a game-changer for our entire county in terms of lifting up and changing the vicious cycle of poverty and giving our citizens the chance to really excel and succeed, especially our young people,” Commissioner Janet Long said.
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