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For immediate release - July 28, 2009

Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization Governing Board Meeting Recap

The Lake~Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) resumed their monthly meeting schedule on Wednesday July 22nd after a short summer recess. 

Election of Officers:  This item was postponed from the April and May meetings pending the appointment by Gov. Crist of a new Sumter County Commissioner, replacing former Sumter County Chairman, Michael Francis, who passed away in March.  The MPO Governing Board voted to approve the following slate of officers for the remainder of 2009:

  • Chair Elect – Commissioner Sanna Henderson, City of Leesburg
  • 1st Vice Chairman – Commissioner Jennifer Hill, Lake County
  • 2nd Vice Chairman – Commissioner Don Burgess, Sumter County
  • Sumter County Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board Chairman (TDCB) – Commissioner Don Burgess, Sumter County

The proposed new slate of officers passed unanimously.

Approval of interlocal agreement between the MPO, Lake County, Sumter County, the City of Leesburg, and the City of Wildwood:  As pending Developments of Regional Impacts (DRIs) and sub DRIs proceed through the review process, their associated impacts to the CR 470 corridor must be closely monitored and necessary mitigation determined.  The primary concern along the corridor is the segment from CR 501, in Sumter County, east to CR 33, in Lake County, including the Florida Turnpike overpass.  The interlocal agreement obligates the five parties to work together to improve the corridor, as needed, with special focus on the overpass of the Florida Turnpike.  The MPO will monitor and track all traffic data and impacts and serve as the regional entity to coordinate efforts to advance the project.

The interlocal agreement passed unanimously for placement on the August consent agenda.

Approval of Urban Growth Boundary Map (UGB):  The MPO developed the UGB to assist in discussions regarding jurisdictional responsibilities concerning transportation, but it is also an important tool in overall growth management for the two-county area.  The UGB is simply a tool and intended to be used in the development of the MPO’s 2035 Transportation Plan and future discussions concerning Joint Planning Area and Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements.

The UGB was tabled until the August MPO Governing Board Meeting.

Adoption of Capacity Project Prioritization Criteria Policy:   The policy was developed through the MPO’s advisory committee process, including the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Bicycle Advisory Committee (BPAC), and the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).  The policy creates a framework through which future decisions are to be made concerning the unfunded transportation needs of our two-county area. The policy ensures that congestion, alone, is not the lone determining factor in placing a project high on the MPO’s List of Priority Projects (LOPP).  Policy criteria include Volume to Capacity ratio, Safety and Crash Data, Functional Classification, Regional Significance, Connectivity, Modal Share, consistency with the Transit Development Plan, consistency with Trails Masterplan, School access, Right-of-Way, Public Sponsor, Local Match, and Community Consensus.  The policy will be used as a framework in developing the LOPP, with final rankings being based on committee recommendations and MPO Board approval.

The prioritization policy passed unanimously.

Adoption of an Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, Sumter County and the Lake~Sumter MPO forming a partnership to create a two-county Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (EECS):  MPO staff researched federal grant opportunities under the Obama Administration and found two major programs that are closely related in terms of criteria mandated for sustainable job creation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  The first, TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), is a surface transportation oriented program through the US Department of Transportation.  It is a potentially expensive grant application process and is highly completive at the national level.  The proposed Orange Blossom Express passenger rail (Northwest Commuter Rail) service along the Florida Central Railroad corridor, in conjunction with LakeXpress fixed route transit improvements would score very well in this program.  The other federal program is the Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.  Lake County has received a $2.8 million allocation from the DOE.  Sumter County qualifies for a special allocation of DOE dollars administered by the State of Florida.  Both counties seek to secure the federal funds. The MPO is in a position to quickly prepare the required document for each county and package it as a regional effort involving two counties and the regional MPO.  This approach will result in a better scoring grant request for all parties.

The interlocal agreement passed unanimously.
 

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