2019 Economic Outlook
Panhandle's building codes come under scrutiny
County Business Briefs
CALHOUN COUNTY — Voters have approved a 10-year extension of a half-cent sales tax earmarked for Calhoun County schools. The sales tax generates nearly $500,000 annually.
DIXIE COUNTY — Local business and aviation leaders have scheduled the 2019 Cross City Airport Fly-In & Business Expo, which attracted several thousand visitors last year, for April 27.
FRANKLIN COUNTY — Franklin County Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper says the damage from Hurricane Michael is going to result in a “huge drop in the tax rolls” for 2019. Valuations of some residential and commercial properties could go “all the way down to an unbuildable lot,” says Skipper.
GADSDEN COUNTY — Hoover Treated Wood Products says it will invest $3.3 million to expand its Havana facility. Hoover executives say the investment will create 25 jobs with annual salaries averaging $40,000.
GULF COUNTY — The Florida Department of Transportation plans to begin construction in 2021 of a 30-mile long Gulf Coast Parkway linking Gulf County to Bay County. The first segment will extend 1.4 miles from U.S. Highway 98 to Star Avenue in Bay County.
HOLMES COUNTY — County commissioners are partnering with Washington County and the Bonifay City Council to establish an authority to manage extension of water and sewer lines along SR 79 from I-10 south into Washington County. The project is expected to stimulate economic growth along that corridor.
JACKSON COUNTY — The city of Marianna has received a state grant of $735,885 for the construction of a water main connecting the existing system to the county’s Industrial Park adjacent to I-10.
JEFFERSON COUNTY — With 230-plus employees, Monticello-based Simpson Nurseries enters 2019 as Jefferson County’s largest private-sector employer. Simpson produces more than 1.5 million deciduous trees and shrubs annually on its 800 acres.
LAFAYETTE COUNTY — Lafayette County’s growing pine straw harvesting industry accounted for more than 100 jobs in 2018. The two leading local producers are Florida Pine Straw Supply and Putnals Premium Pine Straw.
LIBERTY COUNTY— Liberty County has received a $50,000 state grant to expand its Hosford and Telogia water systems. The expansion is expected to open new areas of the county for growth.
MADISON COUNTY — Madison-based Stahl-Meyer Foods has signed a five-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars to provide food at the team’s TIAA Bank Field. The contract may create up to 80 jobs, says Brian Kaufmann, executive director of the Madison County Development Council.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY — The Santa Rosa County Commission has put together a $5-million incentive package with the potential to create 600 jobs in a proposed 350,000-sq.-ft. facility at the I-10 Industrial Park, says Shannon Ogletree, director of the county’s Economic Development Office.
TAYLOR COUNTY — Taylor County’s Development Authority has launched a marketing initiative to stimulate the sale of commercial properties. The “Pre-Checked” program calls for signs to be placed in prominent locations on properties to quickly inform site selectors of the availability and pricing of commercial properties.
WAKULLA COUNTY — The Florida Park Service will continue its 15-year contract with Guest Services Management to run the Wakulla Springs Lodge.
WALTON COUNTY — County commissioners have approved a plan by Texas-based homebuilder D.R. Horton to develop 83 single-family lots near the WaterSound development in South Walton. The approval completes the county’s 15-year-old, 80-acre Prominence Development of Regional Impact.
WASHINGTON COUNTY —Cypress Spring, one of Northwest Florida’s most picturesque springs, will now be protected by a partnership of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, Washington County commissioners and Nestlé Waters North America.
Read more in our January issue.
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