Escambia County has released a statement on the Perdido Key (Beach) signage issue. The Escambia County Commission will apparently look at rescinding an earlier resolution requesting that the Florida Department of Transportation change the Key’s designation in an effort to see signs placed on Interstate 10 that direct people to the ‘beach.’ Regardless of the resolution, it appears FDOT updated its map in late January.
Here is the county’s statement:
Statement on the Effort to Obtain Signage on FDOT Roadways Identifying Beaches on Perdido Key
On December 15, 2011, Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino received a letter from the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce asking for assistance with their efforts to obtain signage on Interstate 10 (I-10) that would reference the word “Beach” when directing drivers to Perdido Key. As the elected representative for Perdido Key, District 2 Commissioner Gene Valentino requested County staff communicate with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to determine how to accomplish the Chamber’s goal.
FDOT informed County staff that the only way to have the signage on the FDOT roadways (including I-10 and secondary roads leading to Perdido Key) reflect the term “Beach” was to change the Official Florida Transportation Map to designate the area as Perdido Key Beach. Although the Chamber had requested the signage and Commissioner Valentino had supported their wishes, neither party supported an official name change.
After extensive communication between Escambia County, FDOT and input from Chamber representatives, County staff placed a Resolution on the February 7, 2013 agenda for the Board of County Commissioner’s (BCC) consideration that proposed the County request FDOT only change the map reference from Perdido Key to Perdido Key Beach.
The BCC Resolution reflected this intent by using language regarding the map change. However, the recommendation (the internal document that accompanies the Resolution, functioning much like a cover letter for the BCC, provides background and summary information) used language from an older draft that referenced a change to the name of the Key. This Resolution, with the appropriate language, was approved on February 7, 2013 and was sent to the FDOT on February 12, 2013. Due to continued discussion on this item, on February 18, Escambia County requested FDOT to not act on the Resolution until further notice. That week, County staff was contacted by FDOT stating that the Official Florida Transportation Map was updated on January 26, 2013 and included the name Perdido Key Beach. FDOT was clear that the change/addition was not a result of the discussions with Escambia County initiated by the Chamber’s request.
In accordance with FDOT policy, Escambia County is proceeding with the goal of obtaining signage on FDOT interstate and secondary roadways that will inform motorists that there is a fourth exit along I-10 within Escambia County that will direct them to beaches located on Perdido Key.
However, Commissioner Valentino intends to request the Resolution, which is currently on hold with the FDOT, be rescinded at the BCC meeting on April 2.