April 23, 2018

2012 Economic Yearbook

Northeast Florida Economic Indicators

Jeff Brooks | 4/23/2012

Putnam County

Keuka Wind turbine
Keuka Wind turbine [Photo: Keuka Wind]
Infrastructure development will dominate in Putnam County this year. Alex McCoy, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Commerce, says work to strengthen runways at Palatka Municipal Airport is nearly complete. By making the airport accessible to heavier aircraft, the improvements should help make the airport more attractive to maintenance and repair companies. Improvements to the Putnam County Business Park have been completed, and the county is working with Plum Creek on a 680-acre site for an industrial park. McCoy says St. Johns Shipbuilding has a number of new contracts, and Keuka Wind is building what it claims will be the world's largest wind turbine. Riverfront development is ongoing. Tito Smith, an attorney with Rogers Towers, takes over as chamber chairman.

Putnam Population: 74,520
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): -0.16%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.83% 6.03% 21.46% 34.34% 19.34%
Per Capita Income: $30,223

Baker County

Baker continues to promote its two privately owned industrial parks, 900-acre Jackson-Shaw on the east side and 1,000-acre Woodstock on the west, though no major announcements are expected this year. Darryl Register, executive director of both the Economic Development Council and Chamber of Commerce, says he's courting a prospect for one of the county-owned industrial parks that's a "cross between healthcare and manufacturing that's a very unique business, something we don't have in the region today." Manufacturing and distribution remain the most active sectors. A mining operation has reportedly committed to the county. There's also a tile manufacturing facility that closed over a year ago that plans to reopen once the housing market rebounds, potentially creating about 80 jobs. "We do have some folks looking compared to three years previous," Register says. "There's quite a bit of activity and interest, which is exciting."

Baker Population: 27,389
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.62%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
21.62% 6.46% 26.83% 33.72% 11.37%
Per Capita Income: $29,358

Columbia County

Dennille Decker
Work continues on developing the county's 500-acre "catalyst site." Executive director of the Columbia County Economic Development Department, Jesse Quillen, who came from Mobile, Ala., is working with the U.S. Forestry Service to gain rail access to the site. Sitel is expanding its call center operation, adding 200 jobs. Warehousing, distribution and logistics top the development wish list. Dennille Decker, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, says retail will get a spark with a Harveys supermarket replacing Food Lion. She says there's a possibility new Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants will open in Lake City. Decker says there'll be more emphasis on tourism, specifically nature tourism.

Columbia Population: 69,600
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.84%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.85% 5.82% 24.96% 33.97% 16.40%
Per Capita Income: $28,352

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