July 30, 2014

Economic Yearbook 2007

BIG BEND: Rounding out the Economy

The Big Bend region is growing its manufacturing and tourism base

Charlotte Crane | 4/1/2007


InnovatorS (Tallahassee)
Jonathan Waters and Kay Stephenson
? Datamaxx Group develops software applications for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, serving 70% of that market, including the FBI and 13 other federal agencies. Datamaxx, which introduced technology enabling agencies to exchange mug shots and fingerprints via personal computer, is working with FSU on a facial recognition development. CEO Kay Stephenson and Jonathan Waters, vice president of research and development, founded the company in 1991.

Photo: Ray Stanyard

Business to Watch

? Claramente Christiano, a Spanish-language Christian bookstore, sells online and mail-order requests from an office and warehouse in Jasper. Owner G. Gordon Lewis relocated from south Florida.

Lafayette / Taylor Counties

MAJOR PROJECTS: Tampa businessman Bill Thom is relocating Marine Diving Equipment, a manufacturer and wholesaler of scuba-diving equipment, to Lafayette County's industrial park at Mayo, expecting to complete the move by late spring. ... Permitting for Magnolia Bay, a marina and resort planned on 3,780 acres owned by retired St. Petersburg surgeon J. Crayton Pruitt along one of Florida's longest stretches of pristine coastline, could happen this year -- barring successful opposition from conservation groups. ... At Perry, construction is expected to begin on Cypress Mill, a 258-acre downtown redevelopment project created by local investors.

Project to Watch

? Construction on Taylor Energy Center, a $2-billion coal-fueled electric power plant planned for 3,000 acres near Perry by four Florida utilities, is expected to start next year.

Jefferson / Gadsden / Wakulla Counties

TRENDS: A recently approved 2% tax on overnight accommodations will be used to help promote tourism in Jefferson County, says Julie Conley, executive director of the county's Economic Development Council. ... Monticello has annexed 300 acres over the past year, responding to requests by developers building mostly high-end housing in city's fringe areas, says Conley, who's also Monticello's mayor.

ENVIRONMENT: Wakulla County and Tallahassee officials have signed an agreement to enhance the protection of Wakulla Springs through improved treatment at Tallahassee's Thomas P. Smith and Lake Bradford Road wastewater facilities and to upgrade quality and availability of reuse water at a cost of $160 million.

Tags: Big Bend

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