RESTORE Escambia Coalition Provides Citizen Input on Funding Criteria
A diverse coalition of Escambia County citizens presented their input on the criteria for projects to be funded by the RESTORE Act by the Escambia County Commission. The presentation was made at the first meeting of 2014 of the Escambia County RESTORE Act Advisory Committee. The loose knit group met for seven months to define their vision and make recommendations the funding criteria. The document presented is called a “Proposal for Selection of RESTORE Act Projects in Escambia County” by RESTORE ESCAMBIA – A Citizen’s Coalition for Sustainability.
• Projects should benefit all citizens with an effort to increase access to traditionally
under-represented residents and neighborhoods;
• The final projects submitted to the State should work collectively to leverage the overall
impact of each and be presented as a “package” from the County;
• Every project recommended should address all three funding categories to a greater
or lesser extent (i.e. economy, environment, and tourism);
• Workforce projects should be a collaborative effort among county, city, education, and business sector partners coordinated with other recommended projects for maximum community impact.
The vision statement for the coalition states, “Our vision is to build an ark of resilience, sustainability and quality of life that carries into the future every person and every living creature, reflecting the rich diversity of our community and our natural environment. The coalition’s mission statement promotes, “Support a process to solicit and evaluate project proposals under the provisions of the RESTORE Act that benefit all Escambia County residents.
They, also, provided overarching criteria in the following statement, “We are reminded of the interconnection, intricate balance and the value of all living things. As we move forward, we strive to restore, protect and enhance our natural and economic resources for the benefit of future generations and for the health and vitality of northwest Florida’s citizens and its natural ecosystems. We envision that all the funds that come to Escambia County from the RESTORE ACT will be used wisely and in the spirit that they were intended. We believe that the criteria that are set forth should be applied to all projects without bringing harm to our natural environment.”