April 25, 2014

Economic yearbook 2011

Northeast - Yearbook

| 4/1/2011

Putnam County

Putnam Population: 73,178
Population Growth Rate (2007-11): -0.19%
Population by Age:
0-14
15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
19.6%
5.9% 22.3% 32.8% 19.5%
Per Capita Income: $27,679

Alex McCoy
Alex McCoy

Alex McCoy, vice president for economic development for the Chamber of Commerce, says companies "are kicking the tires, but they haven't bought the car yet," and while inquires are up, there's nothing on the immediate horizon. Most important, local leaders say, is financial assistance from Tallahassee.

Dana Jones
Dana Jones
Chamber President Dana Jones says rural counties like Putnam must have "some sort of access to funds so we can help build our infrastructure." Jones and McCoy believe the new administration in Tallahassee understands the plight of rural counties. They want to work with Gov. Rick Scott to "build incentive packages that are relevant to today's companies." In the meantime, Putnam wants to improve its workforce with training beyond high school and will continue downtown redevelopment along the riverfront.

Baker County

Baker Population: 27,107
Population Growth Rate (2007-11): 1.44%
Population by Age:
0-14
15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
21.8% 6.3% 28.3% 32.3% 11.2%
Per Capita Income: $26,210

Darryl Register
Darryl Register

In Baker, the goal is the same as it has been for the last two years: Continued development of two privately owned industrial parks, 750-acre Jackson-Shaw on the east side and 1,000-acre Woodstock on the west. The county and the Florida Department of Community Affairs have both approved Woodstock for 10 million square feet of industrial space, says Darryl Register, executive director of both the Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce. "There's a developer's agreement in place with the county for the first phase of that development," Register says. Jobs and new infrastructure remain top priorities. Register says he's wooing a company interested in building an $80-million-to-$100-million equipment facility.

Columbia County

Columbia Population: 72,402
Population Growth Rate (2007-11): 1.61%
Population by Age:
0-14
15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.6%
6.2% 26.8% 32.4% 16.1%
Per Capita Income: $25,745

Jim Poole
Jim Poole

Jim Poole, executive director of the Columbia County Industrial Development Authority, says Columbia hopes to see projects that stalled over the past couple of years start moving. First up, he says, is Columbia Technology, a recycling company that purchased 300 acres and is building its first phase, which should employ about 30 people this year. Poole says the environmental study for Columbia's 500-acre catalyst site, established last year as a Rural Enterprise Zone, is complete. Developers hope to finish the rail spur into the site soon. Poole expects to have the first occupants by the fall. Healthcare and retail also are doing well, and a Lake City downtown revitalization plan should gain momentum this year.

Tags: Northeast

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