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Business Observer Thursday, May 28, 2009 9 years ago

Government Digest

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A look at government actions around the Gulf Coast
by: Jay Brady Government Editor

Mining truck fee on agenda

LEE COUNTY — A mining truck fee of up 30 cents per truck per trip will be considered by Lee County commissioners as part of their June 1 Management and Planning Committee agenda.

The proposed user fee, which might be as low as eight cents per truck trip depending on a “growth scenario,” would be implemented by a county ordinance amending the recent land development code changes regulating mines. The new fee would be in addition to a mine impact fee adopted last year for capital improvements. The truck fee is for road maintenance and operations.

According to a legal opinion from the county attorney's office, the mine property owners may be required to collect the fee from the mining truck operators, but the mine property owners would not be charged.

However, the mine owners would be responsible for keeping track of the trips and fees and submit the fees to the county.

Although the opinion concludes that the county may charge the fee, one of the disadvantages of the fee cited in a staff report is the potential legal challenge to the user fee. The county has been in litigation with mine owners over permits to mine rock used in road construction.

Transportation manager hired

TAMPA — Mayor Pam Iorio has named Jean Dorzback as the Transportation Manager for the City of Tampa. Dorzback has more than 20 years of experience in producing and managing civil and transportation engineering projects.

Currently, she is the chief of planning and project management with the city and has managed several projects, including the 40th Street corridor enhancement project.

Dorzback has a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master of science in engineering management, both from the University of South Florida, and is a registered professional engineer in Florida.

As part of a reorganization to focus attention to transportation policies, mass transit initiatives, programs, and related agencies, the position will now report directly to the administrator of public works and utilities services. Now, the road maintenance, signs and signals maintenance, special events support, sidewalk program, and emergency management support areas will report directly to Public Works Department Director Irvin Lee through the traffic operations chief.

For additional information, contact Administrator of Public Works and Utilities Services Steve Daignault at (813) 274-7883.

MEETINGS


SARASOTA COUNTY
Prior to initiating budget discussions slated for mid-June, the Sarasota County Commission will be hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting on Monday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 8 in the Sarasota County Access TV television studio, 1660 Ringling Blvd. in downtown Sarasota.

Commissioners hope to hear from residents and obtain more involvement and consensus in budget planning for next year. The discussion will be broadcast with a studio audience on Comcast 19 and Verizon 32. The session also will be streamed on the county Web site, www.scgov.net. Citizens can participate three ways: e-mail at [email protected]; call (941) 861-2255 on June 8; or fax to (941) 861-7354. For more information about the “virtual” Town Hall meeting, call (941) 861-5000 or visit the community connections Web site.

LEE COUNTY
The county is reviewing proposed amendments to the land development code that include changes to bank slopes of retention ponds, incorporation of the Manatee Protection Plan, and new development standards for convenience food and beverage stores.

The county commission reviews changes to the land development code on a two-year schedule, and these amendments have already been reviewed by the Land Development Code Advisory Committee and the Executive Regulatory Oversight Committee.

The amendments will be reviewed by the local planning agency (LPA) on June 3 at 8:30 a.m. in the commission chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers. Lee County commissioners will hold public hearings on the proposed amendments at 5:05 p.m. June 9 and June 23 in the same location. Also on June 3, the LPA will hear a presentation on the Southeast Lee County DR/GR Comprehensive Plan Amendments prepared by the county's consultant.

A second meeting has been scheduled with the LPA on June 22, when the staff report will be presented. The LPA is not expected to take action on June 3 so there will be a month to review the report before action is taken. The report will be part of the Lee Plan amendment round that is scheduled for county commission review on Sept. 23.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY
The Murdock Village Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee meets Monday, June 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Room B-106 of the Charlotte County Administration Center. The next meeting is scheduled for July 13 at the same time and location.
For further information, contact Kathy Knee, (941) 627-3023.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
Hillsborough County's Transportation Task Force will be holding a series of meetings across the county to discuss ongoing transportation planning efforts and how to implement and fund them. Also involved are the Metropolitan Planning Organization,
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, Florida Department of Transportation, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority and the three cities.

The meetings are being held in conjunction with the task force's work on recommendations for funding improvements such as light rail, rapid bus transit systems, roadway projects, and bicycle/pedestrian improvements. The task force is to make a final recommendation to the county commission this fall. An issue the task force will consider is a recommendation for a sales tax referendum in 2010. The county commission must approve placing a referendum on the ballot.

Attendees will be able to view plans and maps from the agencies, hear how the groups are working to implement them, and give input. Attendees will also be able to take part in a hands-on activity to decide how money should be divided among various forms of transportation and have the opportunity to fill out a survey. The meetings will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in an open house format, with a presentation from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Meetings are scheduled throughout June.

For more information about the meetings, transportation projects, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Long Range Transportation Plan update, visit: www.hillsboroughcounty.org/transtaskforce or www.hillsboroughmpo.org or call Planning and Growth Management at (813) 272-5920.

PASCO COUNTY
A Land Development Code Re-write workshop to discuss roadway designs, access management and transportation corridors is set for June 3, 3-5 p.m. in the board room, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey. The workshops are part of a strategy to reorganize and make the Code user friendly. The next meeting, June 24, focuses on concurrency, roadways and transportation impact studies. For more information contact the Development Review Services Department at (727) 847-8082 or go to www.pascocountyfl.net.

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