• Pizza Hut to cease redlining in Tarpon Springs on Nov. 1

    Tags: Crime

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. -- A Pizza Hut franchisee will resume after-dark deliveries in the Union Academy of Tarpon Springs on Nov. 1.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the move ends months of discussion between the city and Dallas-based Pizza Hut.

The operator ceased delivery in the neighborhood after a delivery driver was robbed in November of 2001.

Residents of the area, as well as current and former Tarpon Springs City Council officials said the delivery stoppage was motivated more by racism than safety. The council later threatened to revoke the franchisee's operating license if he didn't resume delivery.

After the city put pressure on the pizza chain in August, Pizza Hut dispatched its corporate security chief to investigate the Union Academy neighborhood.

Pizza Hut's decision comes about a month after a Domino's Pizza franchisee resumed delivery to a single Tarpon Springs street that the store had not served for seven years. After returning to Mango Circle to check it out for himself, franchisee John Paulette said he found a different neighborhood than the one that once scared him off.

For its part to help Pizza Hut resume deliveries, Tarpon Springs will provide police to teach safety techniques to delivery drivers and to work with the company on police presence, lighting, street numbering and other issues.

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