FRCA  |  Forward Newsletter  |  November 2019
Tampa Bay RPC to Host Resilience Leadership Summit
 
On January 7 - 8, 2020, the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition will host the inaugural Resilience Leadership Summit in St. Petersburg. The Summit will feature national experts as well as leaders in counties and cities throughout the Tampa Bay region who will gather to discuss innovative programs, strategies, and policies.

The Summit will help to define the vision for transforming Tampa Bay communities over the next five to ten years as they address major economic, social, and environmental challenges. On January 8th, all attendees will participate in a facilitated session to define and prioritize goals for the Tampa Bay Regional Action Plan.
 
The Resilience Leadership Summit topics will include:
* New risks assessments, municipal ratings, and public finance
* New federal programs for pre-disaster mitigation
* Improving long-term recovery efforts
* Implementing large-scale innovative adaptation
* Reducing risks to housing and neighborhoods
* Increasing the use of clean energy
 
Formed in 2018, the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, an initiative of the Tampa Bay RPC, works to strengthen the region's ability to plan for the changing climate, reduce impacts and secure increased levels of funding. These activities help to support resilient infrastructure improvements and fund adaptation and mitigation programs, which protect communities, property, and economies. Participating in the Resilience Coalition enhances the ability for counties, cities and stakeholder organizations to understand the changing risks, best practices and policies for increasing resiliency. Please visit: http://www.tbrpc.org/summit/ for more information about the event.
Apalachee RPC Hosts Hemp Summits   
 
As the Apalachee Region continues to stabilize from damages caused by Hurricane Michael, the Apalachee RPC is focused on expanding economic diversification and cultivating new opportunities for local farmers. Florida's timber industry took a devastating hit from Hurricane Michael, with damages totaling $1.3 billion and approximately 75% - 95% of pine trees damaged or destroyed within the impacted area. It will take a decade or more for the timber industry to recover. Recent legislation surrounding industrial hemp opens a promising new market. Hemp can be used to create more than 25,000 products, from plastic replacements, construction and fiber materials and fertilizer but is most commonly associated with CBD, a non-euphoric cannabis chemical used as a medicine.
 
To help potential growers and processors, the Apalachee RPC brought together farmers, cultivation and production experts, economic development professionals and policymakers to discuss the challenges and opportunities of this emerging industry. The Apalachee RPC hosted two hemp summits within the region in October and November. The 850 Hemp Summits brought nearly 500 people together and covered a range of issues including current legislation, rules and regulations, research and development, as well as growing and processing hemp.

Now that the summits have concluded, many of the farmers who attended are planning to tour established hemp farms in Tennessee and Kentucky. "We're looking at whether there is opportunity to clear debris and plant a different crop," Leon County Commissioner and Apalachee RPC Vice Chair Kristin Dozier said, noting that bringing hemp into the fold could be a positive change. "Many people are talking about rebuilding. We're focused on building an economy. I think it's disruptive in a positive way and could be a huge benefit for our Region." 
South Florida and Treasure Coast RPCs Host Joint Session
Continuing a long-standing tradition, the South Florida and Treasure Coast RPCs convened a joint meeting of the RPC Boards in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2019.  With more than 175 persons in attendance, the RPC Boards received testimony and adopted resolutions in the areas of affordable housing, coral reef disease, human biosolids, water infrastructure funding, and re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. 
 
The Councils also received updates from the leadership of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) on the Tri-Rail Commuter Rail, Brightline/Virgin Trains, and the Florida Department of Transportation on the Florida Transportation Plan 2020 Update.   The Councils were recognized for their 2019 Regional Leadership and Excellence Award from the National Association of Regional Councils for work with the SFRTA on the Transit Oriented Development Educational Outreach Program.  
 
Two joint sessions have been planned for 2020.  "Our regular meetings with our colleagues from the Treasure Coast RPC provide a unique and invaluable opportunity to speak with one voice on the key regional issues impacting the Southeast Florida Region from Monroe through Indian River counties.  We look forward to our continued conversation and partnership during the upcoming year," said Mayor Greg Ross, Chair of the South Florida RPC and Mayor of the City of Cooper City.


2020 FEPA Annual Meeting
February 3 - 7, 2020
Daytona Beach, Florida
 



 
FRCA Partners Meetings Schedule 2019 
 
Listed below are the upcoming Partners Meetings hosted by FRCA throughout the year.  If you would like to attend or present at one of the Partners Meetings, please contact Denise Imbler  at dimbler@thearpc.com
 
 December 12, 2019   9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  City Hall, Tallahassee
 February 14, 2020  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  City Hall, Tallahassee
 March 13, 2020   9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   City Hall, Tallahassee 
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  850.487.1426  |  flregionalcouncils.org