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
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.”
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.
“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….
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