3 Tampa Bay area civic updates

We’ve got updates on Pinellas rolling out new electric buses, Tampa wastewater upgrades, and St. Pete’s new FRESH Pace Healthy Neighborhood Store Program.

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The City of Tampa’s Wastewater Department announced plans this week.

Photo by City of Tampa

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Haven’t been staying on top of the news this week? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the latest updates for all you Tampa + St. Pete residents.

Pinellas launches electric buses

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is rolling out electric vehicles today — with the goal of getting 14 zero-emission buses on the Burg’s streets by the end of 2024. The buses will cut carbon emissions by 135 tons every year + cost $20,000 less every year to operate than diesel buses, according to PSTA.

The move is part of the authority’s plans to swap out dozens of diesel buses with 60 eco-friendly ones instead over the next three years. The fleet is partially paid for using Volkswagen settlement money from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Tampa wastewater system upgrades

Tampa’s sewage is about to get a whole lot safer. The City of Tampa Wastewater Department is plunging $21 million into wastewater system upgrades. The department plans to upgrade or replace 25 of its 228 pumping stations over the next five years.

Eric Weiss, director of the department, said in a release that the changes “will provide critical upgrades that protect public health, safety, and the environment.”

FRESH Pace Healthy Neighborhood Store Program

Last week, the City of St. Pete + the St. Pete Free Clinic launched the FRESH Pace Healthy Neighborhood Store Program, which is bringing healthy options to stores in the city’s low-income areas.

Now, folks can stop by Rajax Food Mart and Meat Mart at 2327 Dr. Martin L. King Jr. St. S. to pick up affordable fresh fruits and veggies, low-fat proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy options, and dairy alternatives. The funding for the program comes from the American Rescue Plan Act + the city plans to open more of these stores.