The memberships of the three task forces that will provide input to state transportation leaders on three new toll roads through rural areas of Florida are gradually appearing, but some jurisdictions have yet to name representatives..
Under legislation approved this year, the task forces were supposed to selected by today from a list of stakeholders outlined in the bill.
The appointments so far are listed on the website the Florida Department of Transportation has set up for the projects.
Local representatives include Polk County Commissioner Rick Wilson, Winter Haven Commissioner Nat Birdsong, Hardee County Commissioner Colon Lambert, Central Florida Regional Planning Council Executive Director Pat Steed, Polk State College President Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti , South Florida State College Vice President Glen Little, DeSoto County Commissioner Elton Langford, Hardee County Commissioner Mike Thompson, Highlands County Commissioner Ron Handley and Katie Worthington Decker, president and CEO of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce.
Environmental groups represented on the task force are 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, The Everglades Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.
.The first meeting will occur Aug. 27 at the Tampa Convention Center. It is planned to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Future meetings will be scheduled in varied locations within the proposed corridors.
In this part of Florida, the southwest Florida route runs from Lakeland to Naples.
The corridor study area depicted on the website’s map includes Polk, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, Lee, Hendry, Glades and Collier counties.
For more information, go to this link .
Sierra opposes the project because it will fragment wildlife habitat, lead to urban sprawl and waste state transportation resources.