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Old October 24th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #1
HARTride 2012
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Tampa street may be closed for new grocery store

TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- The Tampa City Council is divided over an issue it doesn't see too often.

The issue is over whether to close a street to make room for a grocery store.

City council members voted 3-3 on closing South Ward street two weeks ago.

For residents living southwest of Westshore Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard, South Ward Street can be an easy shortcut to and from their neighborhood.

"It's easier for me to get out, especially in the morning," said resident Ryan Butler.

But Chris Ferlita said too many non-residents use the street too.

"The majority of traffic that travels down ward is cut through traffic from Kennedy to Azeele," Butler said.

City council members who voted against the plan said they don't want to disrupt the city's street grid system but council member John Dingfelder, who voted to close the street, said the store is needed.

He said it was input from residents that caused the tie vote.

"The neighborhood is not 100 percent on this issue," Dingfelder said. "And we have many people come down and speak to us on both sides of the issue. As a result council was very split on it."

The council will take the issue back up at it's regular weekly meeting Thursday in hopes all seven members will be present to decide.

The result will apparently swing on Gwen Miller's vote. She was not present for the first vote that ended in a tie.

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