PALMETTO, Fla. - It's a program that is giving the city of Palmetto a whole new outlook in the present and in the future. The University of South Florida in Tampa had recently chosen Palmetto as their first partner for it's Community Sustainability Partnership Program.
"Our different department heads submitted different concerns that they had where maybe this program can help shore us up and bring a new perspective to the city of Palmetto," said Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor of Palmetto.
The year long program has graduate students and professors in architecture, design, law enforcement, transportation and other areas working hands on with city officials. The idea is to get fresh ideas in taking the city of Palmetto to a whole other level.
"You don't get that many opportunities to have that much brainpower chugging together to propel a city along," said Groover Bryant. "So it's fantastic for the city of Palmetto."
One of the big projects USF students are involved with are plans on helping making the Palmetto waterfront even more beautiful, which is an area that is already seeing a lot of success. The waterfront is in the middle of the transformation process with many more palm trees and bushes lining up the walkways.
Another exciting project the students will be involved with is the historic building where the VFW is now situated. Plans are to renovate the building and even include residential lofts on the second floor. City officials say the future is looking bright and it's even looking brighter with the help of USF.
"The professors are great, the students are diligent and they work hard and they really give us an eye to the future of what things should look like, because they are the future," said Jeff Burton, Director of the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency.
At the end of USF's next semester in May, city officials will decide exactly how they will further implement the student's input.