Issues of Interest

NEW AREA CODE Population growth has led to shortage of phone numbers available in Central Florida. The Public Service Commission approved a new area code, 689, for the region. The new area code took effect on June 4th.

I-4 CONSTRUCTION DELAYS Drivers in the Orlando metropolitan area are getting used to hearing the words – “delays in construction”. The I-4 Ultimate project, which is adding tolls lanes to 21 miles of the interstate, is now projected to be 260 days behind schedule. While the project is 60 percent completed, it is still creating traffic nightmares.

RURAL COUNTY FUNDING The Governor announced the recipients of the Competitive Florida Partnership Grants, totaling $240,000, to assist communities with economic development planning. They include the cities of Crestview, Fort Meade, LaBelle, Midway and Okeechobee, as well as Panacea. He also awarded $1.6 million for four infrastructure projects in rural areas. The recipients include Columbia County, the towns of Jennings and Greenville, as well as RiverWay South Apalachicola Choctawatchee.

SUNPASS CONTRACT Two years ago, the state contracted with a New Jersey company to revamp the SunPass operating system.  The system changeover was scheduled to take a week.  However, it has been plagued with problems which have resulted in fines to the company totaling $5.38 million.  As a result of this ‘non-performance,” the State will not extend the company’s contract for the second half of the six-year period.