TAVARES — At the Wednesday meeting of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board, Mount Dora Mayor James Yatsuk replaced Lake County Commissioner Debbie Stivender as chairman of the region’s transportation planning organization.
Newly elected Lake-Sumter MPO Chairman James Yatsuk honors outgoing Chairman Debbie Stivender.
Mayor of Mount Dora since 2000, Yatsuk is widely known in the community for his support of transportation and environmental issues. He was recently elected by the Lake-Sumter MPO Board to chair the organization.
“This is one of the best forums to bring the counties and cities together for the common good,” he said.
Outgoing Lake-Sumter MPO Chairman Debbie Stivender was the first to chair the regional transportation organization’s board. She is credited with guiding the development of the first long-range transportation vision and aiding the organization with receiving $5 million in funding to improve County Road 466. The funding is from the state’s new Transportation Regional Incentive Program, which provides incentive for local governments and/or the private sector to help pay for critically needed projects that would improve regional travel and commerce.
The Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) was adopted by the Lake-Sumter MPO Board in December and lays the groundwork for prioritizing regional transportation projects in a cost-feasible manner. The $700 million plan includes proposed improvements to and additions of 496 lane miles of roads, 132 miles of sidewalks and 118 miles of bicycle facilities, as well as the establishment of a fixed-route transit system in Lake County.
The Lake-Sumter MPO Board consists of 20 board members (14 voting and six non-voting) representing the communities of the Lake-Sumter region. Each member government appoints an elected official to the MPO Board, along with an alternate representative.
The apportionment of membership on the Lake-Sumter MPO Board includes one voting representative from each of the seven most populated cities in Lake County, including Clermont, Eustis, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Minneola, Mount Dora and Tavares. In addition, the five members of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the one designated county commissioner from the Sumter County Board of County Commissioners are each voting members. The seven least populated cities of Lake County share one at-large vote that rotates alphabetically each year.