APALACHICOLA - The city unanimously approved the development of Scipio Marina, with 144 dry slips and 43 wet slips, over objections that the project could cause environmental damage to the bay. The project is scheduled for completion in the spring.
ESCAMBIA AND SANTA ROSA - Home sales in 1997 fell in both counties by 3% and 4%, respectively, compared to 1996 levels. But analysts say the 1997 levels are more sustainable and are still higher than annual averages in the '90s. Tota lsales revenues are higher as well.
MILTON - City Hall has moved across the street into a new 15,000-square-foot, $2.3 million facility. The former city hall will be renovated and used for public works offices.
PANAMA CITY - Arizona Chemical plans to build a new headquarters in Bay County. The firm, a division of InternationalPaper, employs more than 400 in Panama City and 1,400 around the U.S. and Europe. Construction could begin in the first half of 1998. First American Bank, based in Santa Rosa, is opening a branch in Panama City. The city commission accepted an anonymous donation of an $80,000 building previously housing a nightclub. The gift was offered under the provision that the city renovate the building. City officials say they expect to spend at least $160,000 to make the site useful for club and chamber of commerce meetings.
PENSACOLA - Standard and Poor's gave the city its first ratings, an AA issuer rating and an A+ for a recent sales and excise tax revenue bond issue. The two ratings could mean lower interest rates on future Pensacola bond issues.
TALLAHASEE - The Florida Dept. of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement contracted Maximus (NYSE-MMS), Mclean, Va., to provide child support enforcement services to a backlog of public assistance cases in southern Florida. Maximus expects first year revenues of about $7 million and has a two- year contract.