Tampa Bay RPC Hosts 25th Annual Future of the Region Awards
This year marks the 25th annual Future of the Region awards hosted by The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council to honor and recognize notable achievements in innovative regional planning. The Future of the Region Awards event highlights projects and programs that exemplify regionalism, and recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions that benefit the regional community. The Council’s mission in recognizing excellence is to encourage future vision and collaboration among our communities and local governments.
As we embark on our 55th year as a Regional Planning Council, we will continue to strive to help shape our region as a vibrant, exciting place that maximizes transportation solutions, preserves the natural environment, fosters emergency preparedness and uses our diversity as a strength to create economic opportunities for all. Competitive entries are received from all over the Tampa Bay Region from both government agencies & the private sector. Over 200 people were on hand to celebrate the 25th Annual Future of the Region Awards on Friday, April 28th, 2017 at the Hilton Carillon Park Hotel in St. Petersburg.
East Central Florida RPC Assist with Emergency Training Exercise
On April 6, 2017, a full-scale emergency training exercise was conducted in Central Florida. Over 80 agencies participated in four counties, including 26 hospitals, 16 law enforcement agencies, 16 fire department, four health departments, two ambulance services, five emergency management offices, the District Nine Medical Examiner’s Office, the University of Central Florida, Orange County Public Schools, Lynx, the Central Florida Healthcare Coalition, and many others.
The exercise simulated a complex coordinated terrorist attack taking place in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. A pizza delivery car in front of each county courthouse exploded (simulated) and dispersed radiological materials (“dirty bomb”).
There were approximately 1200 live volunteer victims and many other volunteer managers, controllers, and evaluators. These live volunteer victims were moulaged (wearing make-up and movie props to simulate various injuries). Some volunteer victims were also given Coleman Lantern mantels to carry in their pockets. These mantels are perfectly safe to handle but set off the firefighter’s Geiger meter indicating radiological materials are present prompting decontamination of patients.
Many of the capacities practiced and evaluated during this exercise were areas identified after the Pulse Nightclub shooting such as mutual aid response to mass casualty incidents and patient tracking. The exercise was funded through the State Homeland Security Grant Program and coordinated through the East Central Florida RPC.
West Melbourne Mobility Planning
The East Central Florida RPC is working with the City of West Melbourne on an exciting $40,000 FDEO grant for a town center mobility plan. This five part project includes an inventory and analysis of existing conditions, an evaluation of best practices of acclaimed new town projects around the country, a stakeholder’s meeting to garner local ideas and opinions, a computer based visual preference survey, and review of West Melbourne’s existing comprehensive plan to ensure compatibility of policies to promote the town center and enhanced pedestrian features along the corridor. As part of the process, East Central Florida RPC designers will provide illustrative concepts for two sites along Minton Road, one of the city’s arterials, along with concepts to make the road more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
Southwest Florida RPC Hosted Workshop on Affordable Housing
A workshop was held on April 20, 2017 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Florida, featuring Gladys Cook with the Florida Housing Coalition. Over 70 participants attended the workshop which addressed various housing classifications, offered examples of affordable housing projects in the region as well as provided an overview of housing funding sources.
Tampa Bay RPC Hosts Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Steering Committee Meeting
The Tampa Bay RPC hosted a meeting of its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Steering Committee on April 17, 2017. With both public and private membership drawn from all six of the Council’s counties (Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas), the Steering Committee participated in a lively discussion of the economy in the Tampa Bay area and the opportunities and challenges of growing the economy in the region. The meeting was further enriched by participation from Mr. Greg Vaday, of the Economic Development Administration, who led the Committee through a presentation and discussion of the federal grant process for economic development projects. Next steps include staff’s preparation of a Draft CEDS that will be presented to the Council for their review and comment during the requisite 30 day comment period. At the conclusion of the 30 day comment period there will be a conference call with Steering Committee members to finalize a recommendation for the full Council which will be presented at the September 2017 meeting.
Port Area Safety Funfest – May 7th
Lead by Tampa Emergency Management staff, a consortium of agencies and industries will be hosting the third annual Port Area Safety Funfest event on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at DeSoto Park in Tampa. Various demonstrations, including implementation of Shelter-in-Place principles and the Port siren system, will be conducted and fire and law enforcement personnel as well as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be on-scene. Tampa Bay RPC staff is participating in the pre-planning will assist with the event.
Northeast Florida RPC Upcoming Exercises
The East Central Florida RPC is assisting Sumter County with an EOC Hurricane Arnold Exercise being held May 25th.
The Northeast Florida RC is assisting with several upcoming exercises occurring around the region:
City of Jacksonville/JEA Full-Scale Exercise, May 1st
St. Johns County Functional Hurricane Exercise, June 8th
North Central Health Care Coalition Pandemic Flu Exercise, June 15th