FACERS Connect Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 1
From the President's Desk: Doug Gable, Polk County

I am excited to be serving as FACERS President for the upcoming year. Our Annual Meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando in conjunction with the FAC Conference and there were a number of excellent presentations. FDOT was well represented at the Conference with Lora Hollingsworth, FDOT Chief Safety Officer, and Tim Lattner, Director - Office of Design, and their staff members in attendance. We have mailed a letter to FDOT Secretary Boxold expressing the appreciation of FACERS for allowing the active participation in our conferences by these key state employees. Also, Nick Finch from FHWA spoke on the subject of the FAST Act which was greatly appreciated. Chris Evers with Pavement Technology, Inc., moderated a FAC Transportation Funding Workshop that was well attended and included a number of county commissioners from around the state.

During the Annual Meeting a discussion was held between FACERS Board members and FDOT staff on the subject of Highway Safety Planning. FACERS is attempting to get increased state support for assistance with formulating safety plans for county roadway networks. We have mailed a letter from FACERS to Ms. Hollingsworth with specific requests on this matter including an outreach program by FDOT to county governments, and funding to assist local governments in establishing their safety plans. This assistance from FDOT would be very beneficial for most of us, but especially so for the more rural, smaller counties that do not have professional engineering staff.

The renewal cycle for Professional Engineers in the State of Florida is coming up in early 2017. The bi-annual FACERS conferences are a great way to economically obtain the professional development hours required for continuing education. The Fall Meeting is scheduled for November 30 to December 2 at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Change in Membership Dues and
Registration Rates for FACERS Meetings

In February, 2016, the FACERS Board of Directors appointed members to a Revenue Committee to explore options for generating additional revenue sources. That Committee met via conference call and presented its recommendations to the Board in May, 2016. At the Annual Meeting in June, the general membership voted to approve the recommendations. The approved recommendations are the following:
1. Beginning in 2017, increase the Active Membership dues for County and Municipal Members to $80.00 (currently $75.00).
2. Beginning in 2017, increase Corporate Members dues to $130.00 (currently $125.00).
3. Beginning in 2019 through 2025, increase all membership dues by $5.00 every other year.
4. Beginning in the fall of 2016, charge a $100.00 registration fee to FACERS members that attend the FACERS meetings and Technical Sessions. Registration fees are waived for FACERS members who register and pay the FAC Conference registration fee. Registration fees are also waived for FACERS Life members and any speakers from public agencies or other affiliated professional associations who are also FACERS members.

5. Beginning in the fall of 2016, charge $175.00 registration fee to non-FACERS members that attend the FACERS meetings and Technical Sessions. Registration fees are waived for FACERS members who register and pay the FAC Conference registration fee. Registration fees are also waived for State?Federal Agency representatives and any speakers from public agencies or other affiliated professional associations who are not members of FACERS.
Save the Date!!

The 2016 FACERS Fall Meeting will be held November 30-December 2 at the Buena Vista Palace in Orange County. Registration will open in October.

If you have an exciting presentation with valuable information you'd like to share with the FACERS membership, now is the time!
  • Send your topic to FACERS Vice President Faith Alkhatib by September 9th.
  • Presentations should be a 30 minute PowerPoint allowing for an additional 15 minutes of Q &A
  • Topics should be related to local government, public works, engineering or maintenance
2016-17 FACERS Officers and Board of Directors
President- Doug Gable, Polk County
President Elect - Faith Alkhatib, Flagler County
Treasurer - Joe Kunkel, Orange County
Secretary - Shane Parker, Hendry County
Past President - Jim Harriott, Alachua County
Active Member Directors - Ben Bartlett, Volusia County; Judith Clarke, Monroe County; Jonathan Page, Nassau County; Fred Schneider, Lake County; Tracy Straub, Marion County
Municipal Member Director - Terry Dykehouse, City of Clermont
Sustaining Member Director - Amy Blaida, Whitaker Contracting Corporation
NACE State Director - Scott Herring, Nassau County
NACE Officers - Ramon Gavarrete, Alachua County; George Webb, Palm Beach County
Did You Know??

FACERS passed  Resolution 2016-001 at the 2016 Annual Meeting, requesting the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) seek legislation that would index all local option fuel taxes. This issue will be discussed at the FAC Policy Conference being held in Martin County in September and voted on at the FAC Legislative Conference in November. Contact Eric Poole for more information.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has recently released it's 2016 Report Card for Florida's Infrastructure. It is an independent review of current infrastructure needs, capability and funding. Click
to read the report.

The University of Florida Local Technical Assistance Program is hosting listening sessions throughout the state during the month of August to discuss meaningful ways they can better provide you with assistance. The discussions will center around transportation training, data collection, workforce development, equipment and technical assistance needs. Contact Maria Cahill for more information or visit their website here.
Project Spotlight

A new pedestrian bridge is beginning to take shape in Downtown Orange County's International Drive entertainment and convention center district. Construction crews have been carefully staging and working around the nation's second largest convention center and world class tourist destination. The bridge will provide a safe, convenient and comfortable pedestrian connection over International Drive connecting connecting the Orange County Convention Center to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The 400 foot span bridge features a covered internally illuminated passageway with a stylized interior that has modern accents along with convenient elevators and escalators providing safe access to and from street-side destinations. The project is managed by Orange County Public Works and is part of Mayor Teresa Jacobs' Walk-Ride-Thrive! Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which has a goal to establish and maintain a coordinated, comprehensive and consistent response to Orange County's pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. Discussions on the concept of the pedestrian bridge began back in July 2007. The bridge was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on June 5, 2012. The I-Drive Pedestrian Bridge is one of the largest, most complex pedestrian bridge projects that Public Works has managed. Cross traffic averages 20K pedestrians a day and can increase up to 50K pedestrians a day if there is a Convention.
About the Bridge
  • Will connect the Orange County Convention Center West Concourse (third floor near the Linda Chapin Theatre) to the Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Includes two ADA-accessible elevators, one escalator and three stairways
  • The aesthetically-designed bridge replaces a signalized at-grade crossing that serves two high pedestrian traffic generators (OCCC and Hyatt) and blends with the architectural look of both
  • The bridge will improve the pedestrian level of service form a safety and operational standpoint.

Timeline for the I-Drive Pedestrian Bridge
  • Bid awarded in February 2015
    • Construction firm: Apopka-based Southland Construction Inc.
    • Architecture firm: Jacksonville-based Reynolds, Smith & Hill (RS&H)
  • Construction began in July 2015
  • Estimated completion date May 2017 (20-month project)
  • Currently 50% complete
  • Construction: $10 Million
  • Design Services: $1.2 Million
  • Paid for by I-Drive property owners through incremental tax funding


Do you have a completed public works project in your county or city that you are proud of? Has your county or city engineer or public works director collaborated with state or local agencies to enhance your community? Now is the time to recognize them!!

Each year, FACERS honors public works employees, county and city engineers and local projects completed in the previous year. The deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to October 1, 2016 and the awards will be presented at the FACERS Fall Meeting November 30-December 2, 2016 in Orange County.

For additional information regarding the awards or to submit a nomination, visit the FACERS website here

Elia Twigg_ P.E.
Target Engineering Group

Elia Twigg, P.E., Target Engineering Group 
As industry leaders, we need to continue to raise awareness of Public Works! Most people don't even think about who fixes that traffic signal, or who fills that pothole, or who brings drinking water to our homes, or where the water goes when we flush the toilets, or who fixes the police cars so they can respond to emergencies...and the list goes on.

From cities, counties, or state agencies to engineers, consultants, contractors, inspectors and vendors that work for these agencies, we are the men and women that make the quality of life better and improve our communities everyday by providing core services: streets, drainage, transportation, environmental protection, fleet maintenance, drinking water, wastewater treatment, solid waste collection, signs, street lighting, traffic signals, pavement markings, facility maintenance, engineering, emergency response, surveying and so much MORE!!!

This awareness starts with YOU as a Public Works professional! Just sharing what you do with your family and friends can make a HUGE impact. When I was the Public Works Director for the City of Palm Bay, I experienced the difficulties in convincing city leaders that Public Works was an essential service, just like Police and Fire, and that we needed more funding and more staff to provide the essential services to the city. We worked behind the scenes in making sure our emergency service departments safely got to their emergency without their vehicles breaking down, or without a huge pothole in the way, yet, I felt that they had a stronger voice. I decided that we needed to share with our community what their local Public Works Department did for them, as I was confident that most people did not know we existed. With this awareness, I hoped the community would see how we were part of their everyday lives, and hoped they would be our advocate to increase our resources, which in turn, would improve their quality of life. With those challenges in mind, we created a video that highlighted our services in Palm Bay and debuted it at our annual update presentation for our city council, then posted it on our website and shared it with everyone. I also shared the video with my friends and family, and was surprised to see how many of them knew I worked for a city, but had no idea what I did. Again, just sharing what you do with those close to you can make a HUGE impact!!

Public Works is EVERYWHERE, yet most people don't even know we exist. Let's change that and show people what we look like and what we do! Nowadays, everyone has a phone with a camera and easy access to their social media sites....Let's start a new movement and create #iampublicworks on all the social media outlets. When you are doing your normal, everyday Public Works thing that you do, take a picture and post it to your social media site with a caption of what you are doing, and with #iampublicworks to share with your network. Also, you can show your support on social media by supporting our Twibbon campaign at: http://twibbon.com/Support/i-am-public-works.

Show the world the AWESOME work you do for them!! 
FACERS Scholarships
FACERS is a co-sponsor of engineering scholarships with four of Florida's major universities. These scholarships were established in partnership with various private sector companies. FACERS is proud of our relationship with these universities and grateful for the support of our private sector partners. It's an honor to provide this assistance to so many deserving future engineers!

Florida International University: FACERS / Chastain Skillman Civil Engineering Scholarship
FACERS Representative - Ramon Gavarrete 

2015-16 Scho larship Recipient - Maria Dieguez
University of Central Florida: HDR/FACERS Endowed Scholarship
FACERS Representative - Steve Ferrell
2016-17 Scholarship Recipient - Kimberly Santiago

University of Florida: Kahlert/FACERS Endowed Scholarship
FACERS Representative - Fred Schneider
2014-15 Scholarship Recipient: Michelle Knights

University of South Florida: FACERS Endowed Scholarship
Co-Sponsors - Ayers & Associates / HDR / AECOM
FACERS Representative - Steve Ferrell
2015-16 Scholarship Recipient - Dillon Forsyth

Job Listings

Project Engineer
Manatee County will soon be advertising for a Civil Engineer (Project Engineer) position for design, permitting and construction of public infrastructure, such as transportation, water, wastewater, storm water, reclaimed water and related civil engineering projects. Salary rage will be $59K to $82 annually. When posted, the position will be listed on www.mymanatee.org.

2016 Annual Meeting Sponsors
THANK YOU to our generous sponsors who helped to make the FACERS Annual Meeting such a great success. We hope that you will take the time to get to know these sponsors. They are doing great work in the state of Florida and could help you with your next project.

Have something for FACERS Connect??
If you have content you would like to include in the next edition of FACERS Connect, contact Valerie Rogers at (850) 922-7868.