Toll roads splitting farms would be generational damage, said farmer Ernest Culver of Jackson County, and the Task Force doesn’t take into account churches or schools, not to mention nature, rivers, or the Floridan Aquifer, said Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Columbia County, at the meeting in Madison County, Florida, February 11, 2020.
The idea of repurposing toll roads funds for virus pandemic relief continues to get more at least indirect support. Craig Pitman, Florida Phoenix, 9 April 2020, Does Florida still need that trio of billion-dollar toll roads?,
Florida’s controversial new toll roads hit a potential roadblock this week.
Two of them are supposed to cut through rural Levy County, near Ocala. But Levy commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to say they do not want them — primarily because of the development they would bring.
“I don’t want to see Levy County become another Tampa Bay, and that’s what’s going to happen if we don’t stand up and say no,” said Levy commissioner Lilly Rooks, who brought up the resolution.
The vote wasn’t as close as it seems. The two commissioners who voted against it said they agree with Rooks’ position, but believed the county should wait to take such a stand until later this year. The majority didn’t want to wait because they believe the governor and Legislature were rushing everything through to start construction in two years.
“The people of this county do not want this road. They have voiced their opinion. I’m here to speak for them because there’s a lot of opposition,” Commissioner Mike Joyner said.
“’No-build’ is always an option and all proposed transportation projects must ultimately meet financial and environmental feasibility,” Department of Transportation spokeswoman Beth Frady said. The department “appreciates the input” from Levy County, she said.
“There’s really no strong appetite for these roads”
Sierra Club has provided a convenient way for Floridians to tell FDOT No Build:
See also the No Roads to Ruin Coalition facebook page.
Here are the WWALS videos of these two speakers in Madison:
- Don’t split family farms –Ernest Culver, Jackson County
- Nature, schools, and aquifer, not roads –Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
Here’s a WWALS video playlist:
Don’t split farms, and don’t harm nature, schools, or aquifer,
at M-CORES toll road meeting, Madison, FL 2020-02-11
Videos by Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).
There are plenty more of these videos yet to be published.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!