Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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M-CORES Suncoast Connector discussed in Lake City

WCJB LOGO In: M-CORES Suncoast Connector discussed in Lake City | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

The Columbia County Tourist Development Council and the County Commissioners met Sept. 10, 2020 in Lake City to discuss the Florida Department of Transportation’s hopeful plans to build a new toll road through North Florida.  These two agencies in Columbia County fear they will miss out on economic enhancements because the new roads will bypass their county.

Many environmental groups, including OSFR are strongly opposed to the roads for many reasons.  Among these are:  there is no demonstrated need, there is no sound planning, no money to build them, development and sprawl will follow, there is no water for the people we have now, the environment will be further polluted, wildlife will be killed, farmland will be destroyed.  And  we could list more reasons.

The idea is a stupid political plan to help cronies get rich and put Florida in debt for decades.

OSFR members Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Kristin Rubin attended, and Kristin was quoted in the article below.

See the complete article with photos at this link to WCJB.  Thanks go to Sarah Gledhill of Center for Biological Diversity and to Kristin for providing a quote heard by FDOT.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 8:22 PM EDT|Updated: 15 hours ago

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Many in Columbia County are concerned about a proposed highway that they feel make take business away from them. Columbia County commissioners and Lake City council members met today to discuss the construction of the new roadway west of 1-75.

It’s called the Sun Coast Corridor and its part of F-DOT and Governor DeSantis’ M-CORES Program. Projects within that program are intended to revitalize rural communities and encourage job creation, but according to city council members and local business owners, like Nick Patel, this particular project seems as if it could have the opposite effect.

“We have been pretty much an exit for the last 40 years and we are considered to be the gateway to Florida … a significant amount of traffic which comes from I-75 stops here and in our hotels … and I’ve invested $60-$70 million in hotels in this community, so I’m deeply concerned about it.”

kristin photo1 In: M-CORES Suncoast Connector discussed in Lake City | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Kristin Rubin

F-DOT’s representative said they don’t have the answers to the economic impact nor do they have answers to where the funding for the project will come from. That research process will be discussed in the next meeting.

There is the possibility of a “No Build” option, which F-DOT is using as a baseline comparison for factors like the economic and environmental impact. These were the main concerns of community members during public discussion.

“F-DOT has not demonstrated the need or economic viability of this project. It is a waste of taxpayers’ dollars to invest millions of dollars when there are other immediate priorities affecting our state,” Our Santa Fe River Inc. representative, Kristin Rubin, said….

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  1. “Remember when Fiscal Conservatives roamed the U.S.; (see Tyrikosaurus Scott) their roar against the tide of wasteful short-sighted overspending was heard thruout the countryside. (That was the realm of the tiny furry yet evolving Democrats). Now fiscally conservative Republicans are extinct! Wiped out by a giant Orange Meteor in 2016; those surviving and now (gasp) thriving have usurped the “wasteful” spending of the Democrats and have grown to overpopulate the country with their roar of: “It’s now cool to waste money (that’s how consumerism operates anyway) on things we don’t need! (See “Roads to Ruin”)

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