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Protest Over U.S. 41 Trees Called Off

Organizers say they want to work with the county to save the trees along U.S. 41 in Lutz.

A protest to object Hillsborough County’s decision to remove trees along a seven-mile stretch of U.S. 41 that cuts through Lutz has been called off for Monday morning, organizers say.

According to Lutz Civic Association board member Jay Muffly, news that the county isn’t proceeding with the project Monday morning prompted the cancellation. Both Muffly and former civic association president Jan Smith say residents plan to work with the county to see what can be done to save the trees.

“Due to the response from the county, tomorrow’s demonstration has been called off,” Muffly wrote in an email to Patch.

For more information about the county’s response, see Lutz Patch’s earlier coverage.

The protest had been planned to take place Monday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 a.m. at the apex of Florida and Nebraska avenues. It was scheduled as a response to county plans to remove trees in the U.S. 41 medians from the apex to the Pasco County line.

It has since come to light that the county doesn’t intend to proceed with the project on Monday morning and that not all of the trees in the medians were scheduled for removal.

The county is in the process of turning maintenance of the U.S. 41 medians back over to the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT, county officials say, want some of the trees removed prior to the county relinquishing its control over maintenance.

The crepe myrtles and other trees in the U.S. 41 medians were initially planted by FDOT. The county took over maintenance several years ago after FDOT faced budget crunches. Since the county can no longer afford the costs, FDOT has agreed to take its medians back over.

Stay with Lutz Patch for updates on this story as they become available.

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David Banghart January 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM
This is absolutely ludicrous the County planned to do this. However do we have a guarantee the state won't do this afterwards?
Hot Rod January 14, 2013 at 04:14 PM
I look at this with one eye. If the State or County will not maintain the medians, than that leaves you and me. And ME can not afford it, how about YOU?
David Banghart January 14, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I'd be willing to volunteer and if we had 50/100 people volunteer, then we all could afford it. It would be worth it to keep Lutz looking good.

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