Two political insiders to survey Florida's big landowners about toll road routes
Two developers who played a role in dismantling growth management laws in Florida are getting paid by the Department of Transportation to consult on what could be the largest state road project in history.
The project is Future Corridors, a series of at least four toll roads that would crisscross the state's rural areas to spur economic growth, create jobs and birth another generation of suburban communities.
Billy Buzzett and Chris Corr were hired in March to conduct up to 20 interviews with major landowners who own large tracts where the roads could go. After interviewing the landowners, the two would come up with a strategic memo based on the discussions. The contract is worth $106,000; potential land deals could be worth much more.
Both Buzzett and Corr have close ties to Gov. Rick Scott's administration.
Buzzett, 53, was Scott's head of the Department of Community Affairs, which oversaw Florida's growth management until the agency was disbanded in 2011. Before he was tapped by Scott to run the agency he would help eliminate, Buzzett led the planning of more than 100,000 acres and the approval for 30,000 residential units as the director of strategic planning for the St. Joe Co. He's now an attorney for the Panama City law firm Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett.
Corr, 48, hired Buzzett at St. Joe's in 2001 and worked with him as the company's executive vice president and chief strategy officer before leaving in 2008. He's now the executive vice president of AECOM, a Fortune 500 global development consulting company. Corr's grandfather developed Apollo Beach, which Corr represented while serving in the state House in 1990-92.
Both Buzzett and Corr supported Scott's campaign for governor and were members of his transition team.