North Central: Fueling the Future
Focus on alternative energies and technology bodes well for growth in this dynamic region.
Improving connections: A contract has been awarded to begin the survey work on a perimeter road that will connect two major roadways — U.S. 129 and U.S. 90 — in Suwannee County’s northeastern sector. The new road is planned to ease the burden of anticipated increases in commercial traffic due to development at the county’s new industrial park, East 90 Commerce Center.
Industrial park planned: Officials in Lafayette County are finalizing details on a $300,000 grant proposal to construct a new industrial/commerce park.
Gone solar: Ambient Air Services Inc., an environmental consulting firm, has switched from traditional sources to the sun to provide all of the electricity needed to power its headquarters facility in Starke; any excess power will be sold back to the city of Starke. “For over 30 years, AASI has incorporated leading technology and engineering into our business,” says Joseph Cooksey, company president and CEO. “Solar power is an innovative and responsible way for us to be good corporate partners not only within Bradford County and Florida, but nationally as well.”
Getting connected: Bradford and Union counties are partnering with other members of the 14-county North Florida Regional Planning Council to secure broadband access for rural areas in the region.
Catalyst sites on tap: Columbia County officials are working to bring three light manufacturing projects to the county, with the potential of creating 400 jobs. Work also continues with the North Florida Economic Development Partnership to develop one of two catalyst sites in the 14-county North Central RACEC (Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern). Plans call for the development of the Columbia County site as an inland port, which would play a vital role in distribution channels for Florida’s strong international trade.
Retail excellence: Baya Pharmacy in Lake City was presented with the 2009 Retailer of the Year Award for Leadership (ROYAL) by the Florida Retail Federation.