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Riverview livability...Sun City Center Survey...Ruskin's "Fight the Blight"...

By MELODY JAMESON

Riverview livability
The community that grew from a tiny settlement first named Peru on the south shore of the Alafia River has been listed among the 100 best places for American families to live in 2012. Today’s Riverview has been ranked 65th among the 100 best as chosen by MONEY Magazine and its online counterpart, CNNMoney.

Notice of the listing was flashed to the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Executive Director Tanya Doran said this week.

Placing Riverview’s population in the 73,000 bracket, the best small city ranking was based on such factors as housing availability, educational opportunity, crime rate, leisure and cultural activities as well as climate and weather conditions, Doran said.

Ranking lower than Riverview were such communities as Chapel Hill, NC, Ames, Iowa, Grand Forks, ND, and Newton, MA, she added.

Doran, who said the chamber staff first excitedly “celebrated the moment,” also noted that the ranking would mean a great deal to the Riverview area’s business community and is a recognition in which the entire community can take pride.

Sun City Center Survey
As response time draws to a close, 4,053 of the 11,002 community surveys mailed to SCC residents had been completed and returned early this week.

Asked about progress of the survey effort, SCC Community Association Director David Floyd said board members were advised that as of Monday the rate of return was 36.8 percent. The impartial survey is being conducted by Dr. Ericka Matulich, a business consultant and University of Tampa professor who designed the survey based on local focus group results to learn which community improvements residents consider most worthwhile.

The completed survey forms “still are coming in,” Floyd said, being deposited in a lock box located in the CA Central Campus offices and accessible only to Matulich or mailed directly to the UT professor in Tampa. It is hoped that all completed surveys will be available for tabulation by the research specialist by September 1.    

A community survey conducted by Matulich in Kings Point earlier this year produced a 40 percent return rate, Floyd observed, “and we would like to see Sun City Center residents match that rate of return.”

A community town hall session to review tabulated survey results is set for October 4.

Ruskin’s “Fight the Blight”
During the 10-day community clean-up campaign brought to Ruskin early this month by Hillsborough’s Code Enforcement officers, nearly 12 tons of trash were removed from the area, according to the division communications coordinator.

The sweep on Ruskin’s east side and south from Shell Point Road to College Avenue, netted 64 discarded vehicle tires and filled at least 11 dumpsters with assorted debris and junk, said Carol Michel, department spokesperson. More than 115 citations were issued for a variety of violations such as abandoned property and neglected vegetation overgrowth. In all, over 400 sites in the targeted area were inspected, she added.

Ruskin’s Operation Fight the Blight was the fourth in a series of such campaigns undertaken by Code Enforcement officers in communities around the county.

Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson

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