CRESTVIEW — The Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization will submit a request for a Navarre road project to the state Department of Transportation even though its Wednesday meeting failed to garner a quorum.
The Navarre Community Access Road project lost five of nine points when its ranking criteria was reevaluated, but it was the lone community to submit a request for Transportation Regional Incentive Program funds. It met the criteria for a TRIP money.
TPO staffers and county officials worked their phones to summon alternate representatives to the meeting, but even when Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris was reached and arrived, the board was one member shy of a quorum.
Though it was hoped a missing member could vote to approve the Navarre request by phone, senior TPO planner Mary Beth Washnock reminded Chairman James Wood that a quorum was still required to make a motion to approve the request.
Navarre’s request was saved by Department of Transportation official Ray Kirkland, who was in the audience and advised the TPO that the request could still be submitted by the July 15 deadline and approved retroactively at a future meeting.
REVISING QUOROM CRITERIA
Wood suggested that the TPO revise its definition of a quorum, which is the minimum number of members that must be present to make a meeting valid.
It was the second meeting in a row in which no business could be conducted because of lack of members in attendance.
Washnock said her staff could certainly look into revising the number of members that constitute a quorum, but the measure would have to be approved by local TPOs, including the Okaloosa-Walton organization.
Wood suggested an alternate solution might be to increase the number of alternates who could be summoned if needed.
“We frequently have this problem in the summer,” Wood said.
Because of inability to conduct business, the TPO did not approve requesting a federal TIGER Planning Grant to perform a feasibility assessment and economic impact study supporting restoration of Gulf Coast passenger rail service between New Orleans and Jacksonville.