Issues of Interest

RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REVOLVING LOAN FUND PROGRAM The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity distributed three million dollars through the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Program. The funds provide local governments with access to financial assistance to promote the economic viability of rural Florida communities to help create and retain jobs. For more information about the low-interest loans, go here.

SUNPASS PERFORMANCE AUDIT The state completed an audit of the troubled SunPass program. Blame for the fiasco is distributed between the contractor for design problems, outside engineers for inadequate testing, and the Florida Department of Transportation for inadequate oversight of the conversion project.

ORLANDO-MELBOURNE AIRPORT The Governor has announced a $3.9 million grant to the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport to fund infrastructure on airport owned property. The grant is distributed through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and the acreage is earmarked for aerospace related commercial development.

TRANSPORTATION Connecting Florida, a coalition focused on Florida’s infrastructure needs, is promoting the three multi-use corridors that were approved by the Legislature last session. An opposition group, No Roads to Ruin Coalition, wants to stop the development. One project connects the Suncoast Parkway to the Florida Turnpike, another extends the Suncoast Parkway to Jefferson County, and the last one is a multi-use corridor from Polk County to Collier County.

SCHOOL GRAVEYARD In an interesting twist, ground penetrating radar discovered 145 graves under Hillsborough County’s King High School. The graves, which range between 3 and 5 feet below the surface, were part of a former pauper’s graveyard from the 1950’s. The school district has not disclosed a plan, if any, that will be developed to deal with the graves.