Eglin Installation Growth Committee (EIGC) Growth Management Planning

The Comprehensive Tri-County Growth Management Plan (GMP) is being conducted under the auspices of the EIGC. This 16-month effort is expected to kick-off in June 2008. Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) 2005 realignments and new mission assignments to Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field have created additional growth beyond that reported in the BRAC report (4,182 total/2,294 direct/1,888 indirect). The projected end state for this BRAC related growth is FY 2016 with a total net growth of 8,223; 3,263 mission (military/DoD civilian/contractor) personnel plus about 4,960 family members. The additional growth is directly related to the BRAC decisions; the Army 7th Special Forces Group have added personnel and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) numbers now include contractors, students on PCS orders, United Kingdom permanent party, and related family members. Hurlburt Field anticipates 300 mission personnel plus about 420 family members by FY 2015 due to the arrival of the V-22 Osprey for their Special Operations mission. Total net growth also accounts for Program Budget Decision 720 personnel reductions and departure of the 33d Fighter Wing’s F-15s.

The GMP will be designed to assist the Eglin communities while avoiding either inefficient or duplicative efforts when studying the impact of Eglin’s growth. This growth is expected to begin in 2010 and completed around 2016, depending on the timing of NEPA Record of Decision, MILCON construction schedules and JSF aircraft deliveries. Current Air Force planning has indicated the JSF to be fully operational at Eglin by 2016. To facilitate this effort, a tri-county Eglin Installation Growth Committee (EIGC) was formed. The committee, along with its 11 separate functional subcommittees, is comprised of local elected officials, government agencies’ staff members, and involved community leaders. The work of the committee is lead by a 12-member executive committee and chaired by the Chairman of the Okaloosa County Commission. The goal is to work with the impacted communities to develop a results-driven, transactional plan to address expected growth pressures in the region through 2016. This transactional plan is expected to have integrated funding/resource strategies throughout.

The Eglin Installation Growth Committee has identified the following areas of concern, listed in priority order:

a. Roads/Transportation

b. Housing

c. Public Utilities and Infrastructure – water, waste water, storm water, electricity, natural gas

d. Land Use

e. Economic Impacts and Opportunities for Job Creation

f. Public Safety and Emergency Services

g. Health and Social Services

h. Education

I. Quality of Life

The jurisdictions representing these areas of concern do not have the financial or personnel resources necessary to undertake the planning effort necessitated by growth at Eglin AFB nor are those funds available elsewhere.

To carry out these defense-related adjustment activities, the Eglin Installation Growth Committee is contracting a consulting team that will work with the three affected counties and 10 affected municipalities and other unincorporated areas in those counties to fully understand and evaluate growth pressures and make recommendations to include a strategy for implementing the recommendations. These recommendations would identify the requirements for any detailed studies and cost analyses which may be needed as separate efforts with separate OEA grants (Phase II). This may include, but not be limited to, engineering studies to support further action.

The second phase would include the detailed studies (road and utility engineering, etc.) along with an overall capitalization cost analysis and financing plan which would help identify resources to implement the GMP recommendations. The goal is to transact the requirements up to but not including the pouring of cement. For example, the Phase II effort may provide for an engineering study for the insufficient road system that would provide details on a by-pass or overpass, where useful, regarding design, size, number of lanes, acreage/right-of-way required, costs, etc.

3. Results or benefits expected.

The results and benefits of the Eglin Growth Management Plan are to produce a comprehensive plan that will address the following prioritized areas of concern:

a. Roads/Transportation: There are existing entities in this region already studying this issue, as it is the #1 impact area in the region. Through the various Transportation Planning Organizations, the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Authority and the West Florida Regional Planning Council, to name a few, there have been several study efforts completed to date. However, these studies have been limited, primarily, to current road issues. Little has been done to address the possibility of introducing multi-modal transportation options as a possible solution to the area’s problems. Also, little has been studied regarding new mission base access and road requirements. The anticipated result is an assessment of current transportation facilities and infrastructure that require improvements now or are expected to need additional attention in the future. Assessments include capacity, safety, geometric and signalization improvements as well as multimodal usage to focus on major streets, collectors, arterials, roads and highways to determine how they will handle loads due to expected growth as well as travel routes from housing developments being established. The opportunity to develop new alternative routes will also be explored if justified. Multimodal usage includes an analysis of roads, port, rail facilities, and commercial air. Of particular interest is State Route 85/Crestview area and U.S. Highway 98 at Hurlburt Field.

A further result in this area would be for a validation of existing studies to determine their feasibility and identify shortfalls in current planning. For those validated areas, a prescription for implementation, to include possible funding options, is the expected outcome. Areas identified as shortfalls would be included in a Phase II effort that provides additional planning and implementation guidance.

b. Housing: A growing body of work is being assembled by the EIGC Essential Workforce Housing Subcommittee. This is by no means an exhaustive study on this area, rather a compilation of currently available information brought to the group by its members. This information will be used as a starting point for further study and analysis with the end result being a comprehensive planning effort coupled with implementation strategies. This area is especially important as the gap between affordable workforce housing and proximity to the workplace continues to widen in the region. This could potentially have a substantial impact on the personnel relocating to this area as a result of the BRAC decisions, depending on the final bed-down decisions. Those bed-down locations will drive housing options for arriving troops and will require a wide range of options for local communities to use to ensure available housing.

A Housing Market Analysis (HMA) for the Study Area is required to determine if proper development will satisfy the housing needs of incoming personnel or if additional units or different types of housing (e.g., rental vs. ownership, appropriate price range, etc.) are still required. Additionally, the Consultant must also address the adequacy of existing ownership and rental stock and recommend and identify potential resources and other remedies to rectify housing deficiencies, to include availability of workforce housing and programs to provide workforce housing in the region. The consultant will use Air Force HMA and Housing Market Requirements (HMR) data where available/applicable.

c. Public utilities and infrastructure: As growth continues in the region, the need for access to public utilities increases as does the strain on existing waste water and storm water systems, plus the need to ensure adequate potable water supplies. The anticipated growth as a result of the new BRAC missions will add to this. The challenges local utilities face in providing these services are exacerbated by Eglin’s sheer size (724 square miles bisecting all three counties) and the fact that most utility routes will traverse Air Force property. A thorough analysis will be required to provide innovative solutions to the growth impacts on these services.

d. Land use: This will include an inventory, review and assessment of existing community and county land use plans and policy documents as they are affected by the growth of Eglin AFB, Duke Field and Hurlburt Field. In addition, this task will identify any land use policy and implementation documents that need to be developed, updated or revised; identify planning and administrative structures that may need to be established or strengthened; identify alternatives for improved cooperation and coordination of growth and development policies and processes to facilitate the orderly and planned growth of the Study Area. The consultant will review, analyze, and incorporate where appropriate, studies/activities into the comprehensive GMP, which have occurred, or are currently underway, to avoid duplication/replication of effort, including the tri-county Joint Land Use Study for Eglin AFB.

e. Economic impacts and opportunities for job creation: This will include a review of existing information on this topic, plus an assessment of the economic impact the addition of these missions will have on the defined study area. Additionally, existing programs and organizations that support job creation will be identified along with recommendations for improvement in these areas. Specifically, military spouse and separating/retiring military member employment programs will be studied.

f. Public safety and emergency services: This will assess the ability of the different public safety and emergency service providers across the Study Area to deliver emergency response services to meet the needs of the anticipated military population growth. Existing service levels and deficiencies, if any, will be identified along with recommendations for phased improvements.

g. Health and social services: An assessment of the local and regional health care and social service system will be required to determine if it will be able to meet the increased demand, in areas such as medical, dental, mental health, family counseling, child care and other social services. Existing service levels, deficiencies and anticipated service level increases will be identified along with an action plan for improved coordination and implementation.

h. Education: The Study Area includes three county School Districts plus numerous private schools. Close coordination is needed among developers, local business and industry, Eglin AFB, the local Workforce Development Board and these school districts to ensure all educational needs are met in the Study Area.

I. Quality of life: Community and social program needs of the arriving personnel and their families will be evaluated. It will be determined to what extent Eglin AFB can meet those needs, and what levels of service will need to be provided by the surrounding jurisdictions. Issues and services to be considered will include but not be limited to: libraries, cultural resources and facilities in arts and entertainment; parks and recreation facilities; and public access to open space and trails.
j. Public Outreach: The Consultant will incorporate a public outreach component throughout the planning process which will engage stakeholders and disseminate information. The Consultant will submit a detailed Public Outreach Plan quantifying the number of meetings, suggested locations, timeline for website activation, types of outreach materials provided, etc.

4. Approach.

All procurements with OEA grant funds will be in accordance with applicable State and local laws and regulations, and applicable Federal laws and regulations, including compliance with the procurement standards in CFR 32 Part 33, Uniform Administrative Requirement for Grants and cooperative agreements to State and Local Governments. Contractor selection criteria (including cost) will be included in any RFP that is issued. Okaloosa County will provide the 10% non-Federal match.

The unique approach of this effort will be results-driven, focusing on generating information that will yield requirements necessary to prepare for the anticipated growth. These requirements will, in turn, drive the transactional next steps in the process. This includes, but is not limited to, project plans, additional supporting studies, A&E work, etc.