BRADENTON -- At Monday's MPO meeting, members voted to increase the number of Sarasota / Manatee MPO members to 17. Added will be: one City of Bradenton member and one North Port member. In other business, members watched a "Map -21" presentation and also revisited the problematic U.S. 41 / 301 bridge replacement project.
Call to Order
I. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Items not on the agenda --
II. CAC/TAC CHAIR'S REPORT -- CAT Report -- Dave Hutchinson (substitute for CAC Chair) stepped to the podium, said CAC met on April 4, to recap the previous meeting. Members are in support of the amendment to bill 1132 discussed by legislators. The amendment would have the state take over maintenance of local roads leading to state parks.
-- TAC Report -- Cortez Bridge meeting is set for 4/30/2013 to discuss options -- Low-level draw, Mid-level draw ... Open House - 6101 Cortez Rd. Bradenton.
III. FDOT REPORT -- Jennifer Stoltz resurfaced an issue that has come up over the last two MPO meetings: the U.S. 41/301 Bridge. Stoltz said some of the qualifications and procedures have relaxed, making the idea that a PD&E (Project Development and Environmental study) and a feasibility study, might be able to be done together. City of Palmetto Mayor Shirley Grover Bryant said she was hoping for some discussion on the issue, and that the decision made by the county to substitute the feasibility study for a PDE was made without and input from Palmetto or the City of Bradenton.
Stoltz said that FDOT just wanted to know early on what direction the project was going to go. Scholtz then suggested that all parties participate in a workshop. Bryant said that she was under the impression that if the PD&E gets pushed back to a 2020 date, it would be many years after that before the bridge could be built. "It was built in 1957, that could present some problems."
It was obvious that both Manatee County Commissioners, John Chappie and Betsy Benac, were disturbed that the subject even came up. Both had discussed, with other Manatee County Commissioners during commissioner comments after their BOCC meeting, how disturbed they were that any of the MPO members would keep bringing-up a subject that they had already made a decision on.
Chappie said that the county voted to replace the PD&E with a feasibility study because he couldn't get the particulars as to what the PD&E would accomplish. Chappie then told the MPO that he had "seen enough", and that "this has to stop …" almost scolding the members for discussing the issue. He then said "Any communications should be made directly to staff, not through phone or emails."
Benac, reluctantly said she would support a workshop if it only covered what the PD&E would accomplish; using again the excuse that a PD&E would require secured funding. But the two times FDOT and the MPO has mentioned possible measures that could modify that requirement, went without mention.
Perhaps Manatee BOCC needs to translate to all parties; the deteriorating U.S. 41 / 301 bridge is a project they don't want, under any circumstance.
IV. MPO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT -- Director Michael Howe said a transportation and MPO study that was endorsed by staff came up with six options for raising revenue. Highway funding isn't keeping up with highway use.
One of the options: looking at "miles traveled," like utilities, the more you travel the more it costs. Howe said that in 2009, the title tax fees were restored after 30 years of no tax changes. Howe added that MPO staff would be in Tallahassee next Thursday.
V. CHAIR’S REPORT -- MPO Chair, Nora Patterson said that Sarasota hosted a joint scission with Manatee to discuss joint transit and how the private sector needs to get in. Paterson said, " We still get to set the routes and rates." Next Patterson mentioned that the University Parkway and I-75 "Double Diamond" project will be the first in the state.
VI. CONSENT SECTION All matters listed under the Consent Section are considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired by an MPO Board member, that item will be removed from the Consent Section and will be considered at the end of the section. -- Consent -- Approved, Unanimous
1. Approval of Meeting Minutes
2. Appointment of Chair to the Sarasota County Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board
3. Appointment of Chair to the Manatee County Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board
4. Sarasota County Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board - Elderly Citizen Representative Reappointment
5. Manatee County Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board - Elderly Citizen, Citizen Advocate, and Citizen Advocate User Representative Reappointments
6. Recommendation of Sarasota County Government as the Community Transportation Coordinator for Sarasota County
7. Unified Planning Work Program Amendment
VII. BOARD ACTION
1. Sarasota/Manatee MPO’s Membership Apportionment Plan -- Approved, Unanimous
2. Sarasota County Area Transit Transit Development Plan Minor Update -- Approved, Unanimous
3. Resolution Regarding Designated Recipient of Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Funds -- Approved, Unanimous
VIII. REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS (May Require Board Action)
1. Federal Transportation Act: “Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century” – MAP-21 -- No Action, (Full Story)
IX. COMMITTEE REPORTS --
1. Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority
X. MEMBER COMMENTS -- Patrick Roff, "the University is growing and we need a light that will help people get out on U.S. 41." (at the USF Sarasota/Manatee Campus)
XI. NEXT MEETING DATE -- The Board will not meet in May; the next meeting will be held June 24, 2013, at USF’s Selby Auditorium.