On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, this correspondence is to underscore the critical importance of the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency’s (IA) commitment to the vision for investment in infrastructure and economic development projects within our community given the most recent Blueprint IA meetings and discussions of projects.
For twenty years, Blueprint has overseen the implementation of transformational and large-scale projects-investing successfully $825M of our local tax dollars and leveraging $405M from state and federal governments. This has attracted 100s of millions of dollars in private sector investments which follow these projects and are a tremendous benefit to the community. These investments have undeniably enhanced our quality of life, preserved our natural environment, and fortified our economic vitality. However, we emphasize the need to maintain a steadfast focus on projects directly impacting economic development to ensure our community’s competitiveness on the global stage for talent and business growth.
Blueprint funding was specifically approved by the voters for usage on projects designed to improve roads, reduce traffic congestion, protect lakes and water quality, reduce flooding, expand and operate parks and recreational areas, and invest in economic development.
The adherence to each of the key principles that were critical 23 years ago at the founding of Blueprint remain equally important today for determining project funding:
1) Providing a long-term economic development impact
2) Ensuring investments contribute to the growth and sustainability of our local economy.
3) Supporting and fostering the local business landscape, including those enhancing the quality, capabilities, and capacity of our workforce.
4) Delivering infrastructure, connectivity, and beautification improvements to benefit the entire community.
5) Accelerating investments that serve as a strategic path to sustained growth in Blueprint revenues, ensuring vitality for our community in the years to come.
Blueprint IA has achieved success and brought to fruition many community enhancements with the application of these key principles. These enhancements have had and will continue to have long-term economic development impact and quality of life as long as we stay true to its strategic and tactical purpose and not redefine new projects to conveniently justify redirecting Blueprint funds.
As new community needs are identified we should not automatically look at Blueprint as the solution, invading the integrity and purpose of the program. We strongly urge the Blueprint IA to uphold these key principles as it continues to prioritize a robust focus on economic development, anticipated population growth, and long-term value and return on the investment. The success of our community relies on a strategic and sustainable approach to infrastructure and economic development planning.
The Blueprint IA has been instrumental in addressing our community’s most pressing infrastructure needs, steering positive economic and community transformation. It is imperative that the integrity of Blueprint as a proven model is not eroded and has sustainability for decades to come as voted on by our citizens.
Blueprint will construct 32 new transformational projects by 2024 as it implements the current project list. These projects represent approximately $1.lB of public investment across our
community. In light of the ongoing planning for business growth and resiliency, as well as the fierce competition for job creation, the continued alignment to the key principles by Blueprint are more important than ever.
Blueprint must fulfill its mission to build our community and grow our economy by constructing the full project list as promised.
Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce