Convention planners promise lasting improvements - FOX 13 News

Convention planners promise lasting improvements

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

If you live in and around the Tampa Bay area, you've probably noticed a few changes lately. From the new palm trees on Bayshore Blvd. to newly paved roads, it's clear this town is getting ready for the Republican National Convention.

But if you think all the fancy improvements are just for the thousands of visitors who will invade the Bay Area in late August, think again -- organizers have the locals in mind too.

"The real good news for the people of Tampa Bay is that we're gonna do big legacy projects," said 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee President and CEO Ken Jones.

Those "legacy projects" are what the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee call improvements that will be left behind long after the convention is over, and we're not just talking new trees.

"Cell phone networks, repeaters, data networks; those are all gonna be beefed up for the convention," said Jones. "You're going to see a more robust wireless network once the convention ends."

The city of Tampa will also likely see a more robust police force.

The federal government is pumping $50 million into security for the event, some of that cash will go to new equipment.

"All those things stay behind with Tampa once the convention goes home which makes our police force better equipped better prepared for any future event that we might have," continued Jones.

But it doesn't stop there.

The Tampa Bay Times Forum got a big acoustic upgrade and TECO has beefed up power around the facility.

"We did make some improvements to our network downtown we added some transformers and some underground cable," said Tampa Electric Spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs.

Organizers say all these enhancements will help improve the quality of life in the area long after the convention is gone.

"We want to leave not just the Tampa Bay Times Forum, but the entire city and community in better shape then when we found it, actually," said Republican National Convention Press Secretary Kyle Downey.

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