Bill creating regional expressway authority headed to governor



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A bill creating a regional expressway authority is headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.

If the governor signs it, as he’s expected to, the authority would have its name changed to The Central Florida Expressway System and would have more board members.

The way the bill is designed, Orange County would have more representation than the other three counties joining the agency.

Orange County would have five voted on the board, and local elected officials would outnumber the governor’s appointees.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is the only one who is certain to remain on the expressway board, and she will appoint either another Orange County commissioner or someone else from the county.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will be on the board as well.

Lake, Osceola, and Seminole county commissioner chairmen will appoint themselves, a commissioner or someone from the community to a seat on the board.

The governor will name the last three of the nine, but two of them must be from Orange County.

That mix allays the fears that the existing agency had, that Orange County toll payers, who pay the lion’s share of the tolls, might end up unfairly paying for projects in other counties.

Another concern was taking on the debt of Osceola’s Poinciana Parkway, and possibly other toll roads Osceola wants to build.

Lawmakers made sure, however, that Osceola County will bear the burden of any debts or shortfalls.