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For immediate release - May 6, 2005

Two Public Works officials recognized for MPO work

LEESBURGLake County Department of Public Works Director Jim Stivender and Noble Olasimbo, an engineer with Public Works, were recognized this week by the Lake County Board of Commissioners for their roles in establishing the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Setting up the Lake-Sumter MPO last year, required Stivender and Olasimbo to dedicate a great deal of effort to the regional transportation agency. Lake County Commissioner and MPO Chairman Debbie Stivender presented both County employees with awards to commemorate their cooperative spirit.

“Without these gentlemen, the Lake-Sumter MPO would not have come to fruition,” said MPO Executive Director T.J. Fish. “Just one year after creation, the agency is emerging from its infancy stage to begin asserting itself as a proactive and effective transportation planning agency.”

Among the series of changes at the MPO during the past year included the hiring of Fish as executive director and the relocation of the MPO office to Leesburg at 1616 S. 14th St. Another recent development occurred last month at the MPO Board meeting when Fish presented a plan for two new fixed bus routes in South Lake County.

The Lake-Sumter MPO is a regional, independent agency tasked with efficiently planning for the community’s transportation needs. For more information about the Lake-Sumter MPO, call (352) 315-0170 or log on to www.lakesumtermpo.com.

BACKGROUND: The Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was established on Feb. 25, 2004, after the 2000 U.S. Census determined the urbanized areas around Leesburg, Eustis and Lady Lake had exceeded a population of 50,000. The population benchmark was sufficient for the Lake-Sumter region to qualify for the creation of its own MPO.

The purpose of the MPO is to provide a forum for a coordinated, comprehensive and continual transportation planning process and is responsible for the planning of several modes of transportation.

The MPO policy-making Board is comprised of representatives from local government that review transportation issues. Although these individuals come to the table with multiple, and sometimes conflicting perspectives, they work together to establish local and regional priorities for the transportation improvements that are eligible for state and federal funding.

To assist them in their decision-making process, the MPO Board relies upon committee members and support staff as well as active participation from interested citizens, concerned business representatives, special action groups and other voices in the community.


Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445

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