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Library, Road, Recreation Improvements in Approved Budget

County Commissioners approved a $3 billion budget Thursday night.

An Upper Tampa Bay Library expansion, a new county-wide soccer complex and upgrades to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail were all part of the $3 billion budget approved by Hillsborough County Commissioners Thursday night.

The approval came after a public hearing that allowed citizens to voice their opinions on the plan, which would also give a one-time $1,200 bonus to all county employees.

Among the most popular items discussed at the meeting was the county-wide soccer complex, which would cost $15 million, have 14-20 fields and be able to accommodate large soccer events.

County officials are not sure where the complex would be located, but will begin the search for land.

Included in the budget is $9 million for sidewalk repairs and another $4.5 million for the resurfacing of 35 miles of roadway with a focus on high-traffic streets including Linebaugh Avenue, Race Track Road and Countryway Boulevard, in addition to improvements for Lutz Lake Fern Road from the Suncoast Parkway to Dale Mabry.

Capital improvements costs are $179.5 million and include several building and projects including expansions and renovations to Carrollwood Fire Station #19 and the North Hillsborough Fire Station; library extensions for Bloomingdale Regional Library, Jimmie B. Keel Library and Upper Tampa Bay Library. Improvements would also be made to Keystone Park and the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.

Various recreation center improvements would be made under the plan as well including an expansion to the Northdale Recreation Center, Brandon Recreation Center and Town 'N Country Recreation Center.

The county also plans to renovate the football practice fields at Lutz's Oscar Cooler Park.

For more information take a look at Hillsborough County's online budget documents.

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