Northwest Florida Business Briefs - Dec. 2006
Gulf Coast Community College and Bay County commissioners will build an $11-million, public safety/emergency operations joint-use facility at the college's North Bay campus at Southport. The 60,000-sq.- ft. center also will be used to train students in law enforcement, fi re services programs and computers/ technology.
Segers Aerospace will move its U.S. operation from Opa- Locka to Okaloosa County Industrial Airpark. The company, which overhauls turbine engines, expects to hire initially 70 to 100 workers beginning in the third quarter of 2007.
On its second try, Holmes County Development Commission has signed a deal with Parks and Wildlife Services Florida to sell the commission's 789-acre Smith's Lake property, expected to be the site of Jim Fowler's "Life in the Wild'' nature park. The $3.16-million sale is contingent on the buyer obtaining required landuse permits from regulatory agencies within 270 days, commission Executive Director Jim Cherry says. Disagreement over terms killed an earlier deal.
Four northwest counties were among 13 statewide receiving Florida defense grant awards totaling $4.2 million: $275,000 to Bay County to connect Air Force research labs to the county water main; $500,000 to Escambia to buy land adjacent to the Naval Air Station to prevent encroachment; $350,000 to Okaloosa toward completion of the Northwest Florida Greenway to maintain open skies for Eglin Air Force Base warplanes; and $500,000 to Santa Rosa to purchase land around Whiting Field.
The 46th Test Wing won't leave Eglin Air Force Base in the next fiscal year as a result of language inserted by Florida lawmakers in a congressional defense appropriations bill barring spending for any transfer elsewhere of Eglin activity. An earlier proposal by Air Force Materiel Command would have moved the wing's flight operations and armament testing to Edwards Air Force Base in California, costing about 3,500 direct and indirect area jobs.
A panel of lawmakers approved the purchase of 4,000 acres from the St. Joe Co. by the Florida Department of Transportation for $46 million. Approval came prior to an appraisal. The 47 parcels in 10 north Florida counties will be used for road building.
? Flightline Group will begin a $14-million, three-year expansion project in early 2007 at its Compass Pointe headquarters at Tallahassee Regional Airport. The expansion will include a training center for pilots and support personnel of very light jets. Flightline will sell the new Honda Jet VLJs and PiperJets. Tallahassee airport also will be among five launch sites for on-demand VLJ travel being introduced in early 2007 by DayJet Corp.
The county's new growth policies establish the protection of springs, sinkholes and groundwater from development and septic tanks, making Wakulla the first in Florida to adopt standards to protect springs. Concerns over increasing nitrogen feeding weeds and algae and choking the springs led to the regulations.