FRCA Forward – November 2016

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council Receives Promise Zone

In June 2016, President Obama designated areas Glades, Hendry and Collier counties a Promise Zone based on a successful application made by the SWFRPC. The Promise Zone designation creates a partnership in which federal and local leaders partner to spur economic growth, improve educational opportunity, leverage private investment, create jobs and reduce crime in communities of persistent poverty. Promise Zone communities receive a federal liaison assigned to help designees navigate federal programs, assist with competitive federal grant programs, and provide technical assistance with participating federal agencies. Thirteen previously designated Promise Zones throughout the country have been successful in garnering an excess of $500M in federal funding over the previous two years. The Southwest Florida Promise Zone (SFPZ) initiative has the potential to be the most successful economic development effort in the history of Southwest Florida.
As the lead agency for the SFPZ, the SWFRPC is responsible for coordinating all activities and ensuring the success of the initiative.  A critical component of the Promise Zone initiative is regional collaboration between government, education, non-profit, and private sectors.  The Promise Zone designation has served as a catalyst to engage these stakeholders and generate regional support for the initiative.  The SWFRPC has established economic development, education, and crime “task forces” facilitate regional collaboration.  To date, more than 100 individuals  have participated in these task forces.  The SWFRPC looks forward to continuing efforts with regional stakeholders to successfully leverage the unprecedented federal resources being made available to the region to attract investment, create jobs, and foster economic prosperity. For more information please visit our website at: or contact Jason Stoltzfus, Promise Zone Coordinator, at 239-938-1813 or


Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Updates Storm Surge Tool

The TBRPC has adapted and updated the existing Statewide Regional Evacuation Study storm surge tool to become a multi-functioning indicator for surge processing. The latest addition to the tool has been the adaptation to the new SF1 SLOSH basin that covers the whole southern half of Florida as well as adding the Maximum Envelope of Water surge processing capabilities.  TBRPC will be seeking additional funding to enhance the storm surge tool so that it will include the Universal Height surge model along with any cosmetic updates and enhancements.  This tool will assist TBRPC as it maps potential storm surge which will enhance evacuation planning techniques.



Treasure Coast RPC Begins Design and Engineering Work on Boat Lift

TCRPC and the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (PBMPO) are exploring an opportunity to reintroduce an historic regional boating connection via the C-51 canal and the S-155 drainage structure to restore access to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The concept includes construction of a boat lift which will serve the communities in Lake Worth, Lake Clarke Shores and West Palm Beach.  Enhanced boating access and economic development benefits could extend to other properties in unincorporated Palm Beach County, the Town of Glen Ridge and other nearby municipalities.
The TCRPC is leading the preliminary design work and engineering of with funding provided through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the PBMPO. This initial phase is expected to be completed in the spring of 2017. Besides the environmental, mobility and economic benefits to the marine and tourism industries, examination of comparable taxable property value data suggests that waterfront property gaining ICW and ocean access could appreciate as much as 20 to 40 percent over time. This corresponds to an increase in property tax base of $38 to $77 million.