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HomeBusiness & CommunityBlock Party Raises Awareness of South Brooksville’s Needs

Block Party Raises Awareness of South Brooksville’s Needs

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On Saturday, April 30, the South Brooksville Tax Redevelopment Advisory Committee (TRAC) held a block party up and down Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Like any event of this sort, there was food and beverages available, vendors, selling various items, and non-profit organizations with information and camaraderie. However, besides the fun aspect, there was a serious reason behind the gathering.

TRAC is a subcommittee of an organization called the Brooksville Community Conversation. That organization was started almost two years ago by John Mitten, a former county commissioner; Dr. Timothy Beard, president of Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC); and Reverend Emery Ailes, director of the LIFE program at PHSC.

Mr. Mitten stated, “This organization was started in 2020. That was the year of Covid, George Floyd, and the election. As chair of the County Commission at that time, I would meet once a month in South Brooksville with people and just talk and form relationships.”

From this small beginning, the Brooksville Community Conversation grew and now includes three subcommittees−Community Relations; Education; and TRAC, which sponsored Saturday’s event.

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Connie Green, head of TRAC was born and raised in South Brooksville. She left shortly after high school when she got married and joined her husband in the nomadic life of a career Army serviceman. They moved back to the area in 2015 after Mr. Green retired.

TRAC consists of Hernando County residents, South Brooksville property owners, community leaders, as well as city and county government officials. Its purpose is to focus on the revitalization of the neighborhood in terms of homes, city and county services, streets, crime and safety, and quality of life of those living and working in that area.

Mrs. Green states, “Our main concern is making sure that the property tax dollars of South Brooksville are put back into this community for improvements. In the past, these tax dollars have not been re-allocated to the community as they should have been.”

One of the organization’s main projects is to get a community center built in the neighborhood that will serve the needs of children, young people, adults, and seniors. The school district has already offered a piece of property it owns as a site for the center and is willing to lease it to the organization for a nominal fee of $1 per month. The Hernando County YMCA has agreed to help with this project. They hope to have programs similar to what the YMCA offers.

TRAC is also sending out surveys to gather data on the concerns, wants, and needs of the residents of South Brookville. After the data is gathered, proposals will be
submitted to the city and county for approval for a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

“Then we’ll submit paperwork to Tallahassee so that we can make sure that we get state and federal funding to ensure that we are on the books for South Brooksville so that our community can be revitalized. I want to see that we get some things done in my lifetime and to see that we leave a legacy for our children,” Mrs. Green adds.

A hopeful sign that the Brooksville Community Conversation organization and TRAC will be successful in meeting their goals is that they have the support of the city and county government, the school board, Pasco Hernando State College, and community agencies such as Head Start, and many private citizens.

“The mayor of Brooksville, school superintendent John Stratton, the county administrator, the city manager, several school board members, and county commissioners have attended quite a few of our meetings,” Mrs. Green remarks.

TRAC meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 3 pm at the Frederick Kelly Elks Lodge – 510 Martin Luther King. Blvd. Their next meeting is May 26th. Anyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

The organization, as a whole, also meets monthly. The next meeting of the Brooksville Community Conversation will be June 2nd at 3 pm at Moton Elementary School – 7175 Emerson Rd., Brooksville in the school cafeteria. That meeting is also open to the public.

To stay up to date on the activities of TRAC like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BrooksvilleTRAC.

Although progress may be slow, there is an optimism that pervades TRAC and the Brooksville Community Conversation.

Mrs. Green concludes, “Even though South Brooksville has its problems, there is still joy in South Brooksville. We have our families. We laugh; we love each other. We walk up and down our streets; we sit out on our porches. We just want a quality (life) and the finer things of life that we deserve. We just want our children to grow up with a better life.”

Rocco Maglio
Rocco Magliohttps://www.roccomaglio.com
Rocco Maglio is a co-founder of the Hernando Sun. He grew up in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High. He then worked in technology for starting in the early 1990s. He was fascinated by the potential of the Internet even though at the time there were not graphical browsers. He recently earned a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Cybersecurity.
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