FRCA  |  Forward Newsletter  |  September 2019
Central Florida RPC Hosts Heartland 2060 Summit 
 
Citizens, elected officials, and other regional stakeholders gathered at the Heartland 2060 - Building a Resilient Region Summit in Polk County on September 20, 2019. The event featured a welcome message from the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Kevin Thibault, and presentations fromFDOT District One Secretary L.K. Nandam, University of Florida's Dr. Tom Hoctor, Tony Carvajal , the Florida Chamber Foundation, John Kaliski of Cambridge Systematics , and Central Florida RPC Executive Director Pat Steed. Speakers discussed the future of Florida's economy, as well as population, transportation, and environmental trends in the Heartland Region. Summit attendees participated in interactive polling and a townhall discussion which yielded valuable input from attendees.
 
The event concluded with a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to further explore the opportunities and challenges facing the region in the areas of the economy, the environment, and transportation. The data collected from both the Heartland 2060 Summit and roundtable discussion will be used to help shape the vision for making the region more resilient in the future. A second Heartland 2060 Summit will be held on November 13, 2019 in Lake Placid.
North Central Florida Task Force Receives Award 
 
The North Central Florida RPC, Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force are comprised of county commissioners from each of the 12 counties in the north central Florida region. The North Central Florida RPC formed the Task Force to address the issue of raw sewage spills by the City of Valdosta, Georgia into the Withlacoochee River and Mud Creek which flow into the Suwannee River and travels through the north central Florida region to the Gulf of Mexico. The Task Force was recently honored with an Outstanding Service Award from the Florida Small County Coalition for its effective leadership and advocacy in addressing the issues relating to the City of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants.
 
During the past year, the Task Force has been extremely active. They have testified before the Florida Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, met with the Governor's staff and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein as well as members and staff of the north central Florida region state legislative delegation and federal congressional delegation. In addition, the Task Force has met on several occasions in joint workshop sessions with the City of Valdosta City Council to discuss how they can work together to resolve this ongoing problem.
Treasure Coast RPC Assists Martin County with Complete Streets
 
The Treasure Coast RPC has been working with the Martin County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to conceptualize "complete street" interventions with a focus on routes which provide access to Martin County's transit system. The intent was to identify a method for delivering access improvement by "completing" streets as opportunities arise through repaving, widening, and new development. A steering committee with representatives from county engineering, the school district, community leaders, and others was formed. With extensive input from MPO staff and the steering committee, an evaluation matrix was created to rank over 100 roadway segments in the county. The matrix included such factors as proximity to transit stops; percentage of population with access to an automobile; bicycle and pedestrian crash history; and population density.  


Numerous potential interventions were identified such as bus shelters, buffered bike lanes, on-street parking, and multi-use pathways. A public input workshop was held to solicit input from residents on the highest priority rural, multi-lane and urban corridor segments. Participants were asked which interventions they felt were best suited an d most compatible in each of the 10 sample segments. The project will conclude with a summary report and recommendations for priority improvements. The MPO will be able to continue to use the ranking matrix to prioritize further improvements as opportunities arise and projects are completed going forward.
Tampa Bay RPC Hosts Women Planning Group  
 
The Sun Coast Section of the American Planning Association (APA) of Florida held an inspiring, one-hour session for the Women in Planning Group on June 12, 2019, at the Tampa Bay RPC. Keynote speaker, Melanie S. Griffin, Esq., a graduate of Florida State University, presented on "Spread Your Sunshine," the passion project she created committed to empowering others to break the glass ceiling and achieve their dreams. This interactive session focused on personal and professional brand, goals and vision for maximizing success. 
 
Ms. Griffin's leadership has led to recognition as Florida's Most Productive Young Lawyer in 2009, TBBJ Business Woman of the Year Legal Services Finalist in 2016, Tampa Bay Metro Inspiring Woman in Business, 2016-17 and FSU College of Business Recent Alumni Achievement Award, 2017 among others. The session was attended by planning professionals and Suncoast APA members.



 
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. - 12:00 p.m. City Hall, Tallahassee
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  850.487.1426  |  flregionalcouncils.org