Tampa Homes Get Doggy Treatment
That particular reward came along with a booming housing market in downtown Tampa, Florida. Buyers have snatched up condos and rental units in recent months, after prices were pummeled by the housing market collapse. The area's population has zipped from almost zero to some 3,000 residents, Paul Ayres, the director of marketing for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, tells a local website.
It turns out that a lot of these new downtown residents have brought their pets with them -- along with a pretty inconsiderate attitude toward their new neighbors. Now, Tampa is grappling with a virtual explosion of dog poo.
It's a nuisance for residents who must dodge errant dog poo like landmines. But it's also a health issue, since the feces can end up being washed down storm sewers and into water systems without being treated, as a recent Tampa Tribune article points out.
To combat the problem, new Pooch Stations -- plastic bag dispensers and bins where pet owners can dispose of the package -- are being set up in downtown Tampa. Postcards are also being handed out to remind folks to pick up after their animals. "When your pet has finished its business, do yours by cleaning it up! It's the law!" scold the cards.
Of course, there are fines of $150 for not cleaning up after your pet, but they are rarely enforced.
In some cases, downtown property managers have started issuing fines to to tenants in the their buildings who refuse to pick up their dog's droppings, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Lynda Remund, director of district operations at the Tampa Downtown Partnership, told the paper, "We've have guides who have witnessed this happening and told the owner to clean it up, only to be told that, 'It's your job to clean it up!'"
"Well," replies Remund, "guess what? It's not!"
Somehow, as the nation struggles to heal its housing market, I find it difficult to think that the folks at Treasury or FHA or the too-big-to-fail banks are giving much thought to the potential poo problem that has arisen in downtown Tampa. Maybe they should. Who better than our government officials and esteemed CEOs to deal with poo?
Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle." He has written about real -estate related issues for several years. This is his very first post about poo!