City officials looking to improve a once flourishing Kenneth City

By Chris Hopper , Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014, 10:22 AM EDT

A Pinellas County town born in protest of overbearing regulations and taxes, is in need of improvement.

Kenneth City was incorporated in the late 1950s as a tax-free community consisting of single family homes. Developer Sidney Colen intended for the city to be a model community. He named the town after his son, Kenneth, stating he wanted to strengthen his commitment to do his best because "he would never do anything to disgrace their names."

However, despite its adoption nearly 50 years ago, the city isn't quite what it used to be.

Alex and Peggy Sinicrope have lived in the city -- which lies along 54th Avenue North between St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park -- for 40 years.

“Seen a lot of things here,” said resident Alex Sinicrope.

The Sinicropes say they are embarrassed by run down houses, streets, city facilities, and businesses. They have a hard time calling the city home.

“We tell people, 'I live in the Tyrone area,'" said resident Peggy Sinicrope. "I just don’t tell people where I live. People don’t take care of their homes, there’s trash all over and no one seems to care."

Town officials have taken note, and are proposing the “Grow Kenneth City” project to revitalize major corridors, parks, and neighborhoods.

City leaders also want to put up more signs around the city limits so residents and passerbys know when they are entering the town.

They say it's now up to residents to give their input and decide how to best spend the money.

The Sinicropes have some ideas.

“It’s long overdue," said Alex Sinicrope. "There’s too much here that’s run down.”

Kenneth City wants to use red light camera funds to pay for the revitalization and beautification process.

A public workshop will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Hall.