Thursday, August 9, 2018

Summer Caucus Notes - Special Districts & Authorities

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – The Special Districts & Authorities Caucus met on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. at Penta Career Center (Room 1307), 9301 Buck Road in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Scott Carpenter, director of public relations with Metroparks of the Toledo Area and caucus facilitator, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present. Introductions were made by everyone present.

Caucus members in attendance included:

  • Scott Carpenter – Director of Public Relations, Metroparks Toledo 
  • Meghan Gallagher – Regional Business Development Coordinator & Account Manager, Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission
  • Rex Huffman – Counsel, Northwester Water and Sewer District
  •  Cheryl Johnson – Chair, Wood County Port Authority
  • William Kelly – Planning Director, TARTA 
  • Mike Libben – Program Administrator, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Royce Maniko – Board Member, SMART
  • Tim Porter – Chair, TMACOG Passenger Rail Committee
  • Thomas Uhler – Vice Chair, Wood County Port Authority
TMACOG support staff in attendance included:
·         Lance Dasher – Transportation Planner
·         Kristopher Barnswell – Water Quality Planner
Introduction of Discussion Topics – Caucus members discussed the following topics.
·         Autonomous vehicles
o   Will impact land use
o   Focus on transit, schools, campuses
o   Disabled veterans can get modified vehicles
o   Autonomous vehicles assist with traveling to appointments
o   Safety is a concern
o   Timeline is unknown, 2040 or 2050?
Ø  Start with fleets then move to individual ownership, efficiency is the goal
Ø  Statistics show it costs approximately $8,000 per year for owning a vehicle

·         Public transit
o    Lacking in the region
o    Street cars – get back to basics
·         Metroparks
o   What do they need for the district to grow?
o   Land levy in 2002, since that time have grown from 7,500 to 12,000 acres
o   Connect Secor Metropark to Oak Openings Metropark
Ø  Own the land to connect the parks
Ø  Major obstacle is a bridge over the turnpike
·         Southeast Michigan
o   Federal government gives MDOT money, which allocates $5M to SEMCOG
o   Connectivity is a major goal
o   Connect bike trail in Bedford (that starts on S. Dixie Hwy) to the Chessie Circle (Laskey/Jackman)
Ø  Smart corridor
Ø  Heavy traffic from international bridge
·         Water quality
o   Governor’s executive order to declare watersheds distressed
o   Stormwater management
Ø  Should farmers be required to construct detention basins like businesses with parking lots?
Generate Questions for the Forum with State Lawmakers – This caucus is very diverse that consists of members from Wood County Port Authority, Metroparks Toledo, TARTA, Ohio Turnpike, Ottawa Soil and Water District, and others.  The group agreed on the following two questions to present to Lawmaker and Legislators.
1)      Are we sufficiently prepared for a future with autonomous vehicles? Or what should we be doing to prepare?  Including funding for smart technology at the local level.

2)      What are lawmakers in Ohio doing to permanently implement the Governor’s recent executive order pertaining to agricultural runoff that contributes to Lake Erie’s water quality issues? 
Next Steps – There were no requested actions from the caucus.

Adjourn – Mr. Carpenter thanked the attendees for their participation and adjourned the meeting.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

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