Let your voice be heard

Lazaro Aleman
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Residents interested in learning more about the toll road that is slated to cross Jefferson County or voicing their opinions on the project will get two opportunities to do so in person next week, if either choice will entail a long drive.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced last week that the second round of meetings on the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) – as the three proposed corridors are being called – will be held in the coming two weeks within the groups' respective study areas.
The Suncoast Connector Task Force – the group tasked with studying the toll road that will impact this area – is scheduled to hold its meeting and community open house on next Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 23 and 24, respectively.
The meeting, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, will be held at the College of Central Florida in Citrus County. More specifically, the meeting will be held at the Citrus Learning Center at 3800 S. Lecanto Hwy. , Lecanto, Fla.
Lecanto is 160 miles southeast of Monticello, about a three-hour drive away. Registration for the event is set to begin at 9 a.m. Comment stations, however, will be available all day, according to the FDOT.
The Suncoast Connector Task Force's community open house will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, in Dixie County. Or more specifically, it will be at the Old Town Education Center, 823 SE 349 Hwy., Old Town, Fla.
Old Town is 93.4 miles southeast of Monticello, or about an hour-and-a-half drive away.
The FDOT encourages citizens to attend “any or all the events, observe the proceedings, and provide input.”
The agency notes that citizens will have an opportunity at the open house to view the information presented at the task force's earlier meeting.
“There will be no formal presentation at the open house,” the FDOT states, “but attendees may come anytime during the event to watch the task force presentation, view displays and hold one-on-one conversations with the staff.”
Anyone wishing to provide comments for the public record can speak to a court reporter, fill out a comment form, or type their comments into a laptop. All displays, videos and documents will be available after the meeting at FloridaMCORES.com.
As proposed, the Suncoast Connector will extend from its present terminus in Citrus County and proceed north through Jefferson County and into Georgia.
The three task forces – per the legislation passed in the last legislative session – have until Oct. 1, 2020, to submit their written reports of findings to the state on their respective roads. Construction on the roads is legislated to start “no later than Dec. 31, 2022,” and the roads to be opened to traffic “no later than Dec. 31, 2030.”