Horizon Awards

For immediate release - April 15, 2005

Lake-Sumter MPO settles into new Leesburg office

LEESBURG—After a year of sharing office space with Lake County Government, the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is spreading its wings at its new office.

Established in 2004, the MPO is a regional, independent agency tasked with efficiently planning for the community’s transportation needs. The Lake-Sumter MPO’s new office is located at 1616 S. 14th St. in the City of Leesburg. To contact the MPO office, call (352) 315-0170.

“This is really an important step as the Lake-Sumter MPO asserts itself as a separate agency promoting transportation planning for the entire region,” said T.J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter MPO.

Along with the new digs, other changes around the Lake-Sumter MPO include its director. Previously, managed by Lake County Government employees, the MPO Board hired a new full-time executive director this year.

Fish has more than 10 years of public service experience, primarily in the comprehensive planning and economic development fields. His previous work experience includes manning various planning roles for several different Lake County municipalities and MPO experience in his home state of Tennessee. A resident of Tavares, Fish received his master’s degree in public management and his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from East Tennessee State University.

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 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.

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Media Contact:
Christopher Patton
Public Information Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us