MAYOR JOHN PEYTON JACKSONVILLE FOUNDATION FOR RECOVERY PLAN - BREAKING NEWS 01-20-2010 Part 3

MAYOR JOHN PEYTON JACKSONVILLE FOUNDATION FOR RECOVERY PLAN - BREAKING NEWS 01-20-2010 Part 3 - americas logistics center - waterways st johns river, river walkPortSpeaking of playing to our strengths, thanks to our Port Authority, Jacksonville is poised to become a leader in international trade in the post-Panamax era. It is clear that these opportunities are the most viable way to expand our local economy. Just last Friday the city, the port and private logistics companies met together to begin developing the latest public policy strategies related to securing federal dollars for dredging, highway projects/rail projects to improve connectivity at the port.In addition, the state has already recognized that our seaport is unique among Floridas 14 ports. I look forward to working with our state delegation to leverage this distinction into more state dollars for Jacksonville. These capital projects will position theport for long-term growth in the post-Panamax era and help solidify Jacksonvilles reputation as Americas Logistics Center.While the growth of our port is important to the health of our local economy, it should not come at the expense of our river and other natural resources. The port, the regulatory authorities, our environmental community and my office share in that common goal and understand the importance a healthy river. We are committed to keeping that balance in mind and continuing to move forward as a top tier import and export city.River QualityEqually important in positioning Jacksonville for a post-recession recovery, is improving the quality of life for residents. No doubt, communities with better sustainability efforts, more green spaces, clean water ways, responsible growth and funded infrastructure will be the communities that perform better economically. For this reason, water quality issues, conservation and access measures will continue to be a major focus. The St. Johns Rivers health contributes directly to our communitys economic viability especially the development of downtown.In order to provide the best improvement in water quality while also protecting our precious water supply the city is focused on a multi-faceted approach that includes removal of failing septic tanks, reduction in fertilizer use, adopting Florida-friendly landscaping principals and conserving water.In addition, weve received more than $7.8 million from the federal government to create and fund a comprehensive sustainability plan for the city. This will include retrofitting buildings, job training and education initiatives.Since the creation of the River Accord, weve made conservation and protection of our natural resources a top priority. As a city, weve made great strides toward sustainability and decreased consumption. We are replacing the old fleet with more fuel-efficient vehicles, improving water conservation methods at city facilities and parks, retrofitting old buildings with energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly standards and better managing our waste by utilizing recycling services. Last year we hired the citys first Sustainability Officer who monitors our efforts and recommends new policies for implementation.Since the creation of a dedicated funding source for stormwater treatment, weve collected more than $37 million to fund maintenance of 44,000 inlets, 1,000 miles of stormwater pipes, 6,000 miles of ditches, 134 city ponds and 8 pump stations.It has also funded the construction of $8.5 million in city-wide drainage system rehabilitation projects. While I know this was a difficult issue for our community and our city council, the stewardship of those funds will make a difference for our river, and future generations will be indebted to those who helped create it.River Access - Downtown & BeyondDuring the next 18 months we will invest more than $30 million to develop miles of trails, boat docks, fishing piers, water taxi landings and improved access at various parks and preserves throughout the county. We look for Hogans Creek master plan to be complete next month.Since the creation of a dedicated funding source for stormwater treatment, weve collected more than $37 million to fund maintenance of 44,000 inlets, 1,000 miles of stormwater pipes, 6,000 miles of ditches, 134 city ponds and 8 pump stations.It has also funded the construction of $8.5 million in city-wide drainage system rehabilitation projects. River Access - Downtown & BeyondDuring the next 18 months we will invest more than $30 million to develop miles of trails, boat docks,new jobs, post recession, recovery, mike hightower, MAYOR JOHN PEYTON, JACKSONVILLE, economic, RECOVERY PLAN, BREAKING NEWS, 01-20-2010