FRCA  |  Forward Newsletter  | February 2020
East Central Florida RPC Partners on Economic Impact Analysis  
  
The State Road 405 Causeway in Brevard County is the most direct connection between the City of Titusville, home to most of the county's aerospace manufacturing suppliers, and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex located on Merritt Island. It serves thousands of military and civilian personnel working at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport (CCS) and is the only route to the KSC Visitor Complex, one of Brevard County's most visited tourist attractions. Ensuring this critical access through future decades will drive economic competitiveness of these industries.
 
In 2015, NASA received a "Load Rating and Projection of Year of De-Rating for the Indian River Bridge" analysis which rated the causeway in "fair" condition. While the vulnerability of the causeway has been recognized as a critical issue for the competitiveness of Florida's aerospace industry, it has been difficult to identify the means necessary to upgrade S.R. 405 and ensure the causeway's long-term resiliency and functionality. The East Central Florida RPC and its partners understand the importance of this route for the economic vitality of Brevard County's economy and the long-term resiliency of the region's aerospace industry. As such, the East Central Florida RPC and the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ) partnered to submit an Economic Adjustment Grant from U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to analyze the economic importance of S.R. 405  and make the case to attract the necessary investment and partnerships needed to rebuild the Causeway.
  
The project was comprised of four different economic impact simulation scenarios run using the REMI PI+ economic model. The economic model scenarios revealed that close to 15,000 jobs are dependent on the S.R. 405 bridge. The bridge also supports the generation of $1.6 billion in sales and approximately $699 million in personal income. Moreover, it contributes $1.02 billion to the County's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On average, the bridge's closure would spur the loss of almost 13,500 jobs per year when compared to the REMI forecast. Brevard County would also lose $1.53 billion in sales, $945.7 million in personal income, and $975.8 million to the County's GDP.  
 
Since the completion of the economic forecasting, NASA has funded the Project Development and Environment Study and Design and will fund continued operation and maintenance until the new bridge is complete. Space Florida has committed to providing the matching funds for the INFRA grant award and will take over ownership of the bridge once constructed.
North Central Florida RPC Prepares for 2020 Census    
 
Once a decade, America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. It counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities' vital programs - impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
 
Dr. Stephen D. Dillingham, U. S. Census Director, Washington, D. C. Central Office, along with Marilyn Stephens, Assistant Regional Census Manager, Atlanta Regional Office, recently visited the offices of the North Central Florida RPC to discuss preparations for the upcoming 2020 Census. The Council, along with the other nine regional planning councils in Florida, is a Census Affiliate agency. Affiliate agencies partner with the Census to coordinate with local governments to prepare for the decennial Census and disseminate Census information.
 
During the visit, Census officials were briefed by Council staff on their outreach efforts concerning preparation for 2020 Census. These efforts include working with local Census complete count committees, adopting a proclamation declaring March 2020 as Census Awareness Month in the north central Florida region, encouraging all counties and municipalities in the north central Florida region to adopt similar proclamations, posting information concerning 2020 Census on the Council website and issuing press releases to inform the public about the importance of 2020 Census.
 
Dr. Dillingham discussed the process for implementing 2020 Census. He indicated that the goal is to have 80 percent of the 2020 Census responses completed online with telephone and mail options also being available for the initial count during Phase 1. During Phase 2, enumerators will canvass neighborhoods to count non-respondents. While April 1st is the official Census Day and the residency count day, 2020 Census will continue for several months with an anticipated completion by July 2020.
RPC Executive Directors Appointed to Council on Climate  
 
On February 24, 2020 Agriculture Commissioner Nicole "Nikki" Fried  announced the launch of the new Florida Advisory Council on Climate & Energy (FACCE). This committee of energy and climate professionals will advise the Commissioner and the Office of Energy in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on modernizing energy and climate policies, diversifying energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and creating solutions for Florida's energy and climate future.
 
Commissioner Fried first announced the creation of FACCE in October during the department's Florida Energy & Climate Summit in Tampa. The 26-member committee will advise on a broad range of energy industry issues like energy conservation, renewable energy, climate change, sea-level rise, and alternative vehicle technolog ies, as well as perspective on the findings of the FDACS Florida Energy and Climate Plan. FRCA is pleased to announce that Patricia "Pat" Steed, Executive Director of the Central Florida RPC and Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay RPC were appointed to serve on the Council representing regional planning councils.
 
FRCA Partners Meetings Schedule 2020  
 
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@arpc.org
 
March 13, 2020  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. City Hall, Tallahassee
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  850.487.1426  |  flregionalcouncils.org