MANATEE -- A Manatee County mother's request to have the section of highway where her daughter was killed in a traffic accident named in her memory received the Manatee County Commission's unanimous support Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the commission authorized Chairwoman Betsy Benac to sign a letter requesting the support of Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, to designate the section of U.S. 19 from its interchange with U.S. 41 north to Palm View Road as Tiffiany Marie Olson Memorial Highway.
"My purpose and passion is to make sure what happened to me never happens again," Christine Olson, Tiffiany's mother, said Tuesday. "We are changing the world and we are changing the world one registration at a time."
Olson began To Inform Families First in memory of her daughter. She did not find out her daughter had died in a motorcycle crash Dec. 7, 2005, until six hours after the accident.
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Since the tragedy, Olson has worked on passing getting legislation passed tying emergency contact information to driver's licenses in order to speed death notifications.
The letter to Galvano states: "as we understand, the Florida Department of Transportation's process requires the local agency request a memorial highway designation of a state legislator who would agree with the dedication and file a bill to include a memorial highway designation. Once the bill passes and is signed by the governor, the Florida Department of Transportation will install the memorial marker signs. This letter is to request your support of designating this section of U.S. 19 as Tiffiany Marie Olson Memorial Highway."
Olson thanked the commission for "the gigantic step" made Tuesday.
"Every single one of you have believed in this program from the very beginning," Olson said.
As a mother, Benac thanked Olson for her work.
"We really, really appreciate your efforts," Benac said.
The commission also authorized:
Benac to sign an amendment of the agreement between the county and Manatee Memorial Hospital for indigent health care. The amendment will correct the "scrivener's error in the legal name of Manatee Memorial Hospital."
An interlocal agreement between East Manatee Fire District and the county to temporarily relocate fire and emergency medical services to Tom Bennett Park, 400 Cypress Creek Blvd., Bradenton. The station at 803 60th St. Court E., Bradenton, is being demolished and rebuilt. The relocation is expected to last eight to 12 months.
Benac to sign a letter in support of Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization recommendations for the FDOT project on U.S. 41 from 69th Avenue to Cortez Road. The letter states "providing sidewalks within this project's limits would greatly benefit this community by providing much needed pedestrian infrastructure."
Benac to sign a letter protesting the state fiscal year 2016 Department of Juvenile Justice funding calculation rules. The commission also authorized monthly payments representing 32 percent of the total annual cost for Juvenile Justice Detention for the county's juveniles, maintaining the 68 percent balance reflected in the invoices in general fund reserves until the outcome of pending litigation.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.