Goals and Accomplishments
- Continue to Grow TechRiver
- Assist in the Development of the Water- Sewer Corridor
- Maintain Legislative Agenda and Presence Focusing on Economic Development for Hardee County
- Create Sustainable Quality Careers for Citizens
- Expand Light Industry within the Industrial Corridor
- Increase Hardee County’s Presence on the Internet
- Promote County Assets
- Enhance Partnership with Economic Development Agencies within the County and State
- Continue to Foster Eco- Tourism relationship within the County
- Accomplish Deliverables of County’s Visioning Plan
- Complete USF Performance Report
- Increase Efficiency as a Special District
- See Production based Incubator/ Accelerator to Fruition
2011 - 2012
- The IDA began discussions with National Solar to provide an initial study to determine the location feasibility of a 200 megawatt solar field to Progress/Duke transmission system. Construction is still scheduled for early third quarter 2013. The contribution of $250,000 by the IDA to the projects will be on a re-imbursement basis related to construction benchmarks. (10 full-time jobs and unknown indirect jobs.)
- IDA funded $250,000 for the enhancement of the Hardee Lakes Park.
- Present instituted a relationship the University of South Florida thru The John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government to study Eco-Agri tourism and economic development opportunities in Hardee County.
- The IDA is currently working with the USF Florida Institute of Government regarding Economic Impact Analysis of Economic Development.
- Mitigation with CF Industries is completed with parity based on the Mosaic Agreement, providing funding for education and recreation as a supplemental aspect of Economic Development. This Agreement, which provides economic development element of the Comprehensive Plan compliance by CFI, was negotiated on behalf of Hardee County by the ED office. The funding that will be administered thru the Hardee County Economic Development Authority by “rule” agreement conditions and modification of the local bill that created the EDA is being considered. The modifications to the Economic Development Authority “local bill” will be taken up by the Florida legislature after a detailed understanding of the modifications are discussed and proposed to the local legislative delegation and presented to the public during the next year. The first installment ($1 million of $10 million) is expected later in 2013 when all permits for the CFI South Pasture Extension permits are issued. The balance will be paid in three installments ($3 million each) annually once mining commences on this mine extension property. Designated Administrator of the Mosaic Agreement
- Lead Economic Development Efforts in County
- Recruited 6 Businesses into County
- Increase Public Education
- Continued Partnership with Enterprise FL Through Business Recruitment
- Increased Marketing and Public Relations Presence
- Work with PRE to Foster Eco-Tourism
- Pursuing the Goals of the Hardee County Visioning Plan
- USF Economy Building Strategy
- Recruited KeyPlex, a crop nutritional manufacturer to the Hardee Commerce Park to occupy an existing vacant building and to construct additional space. The IDA and Keyplex jointly constructed a 22,000 square foot manufacturing/office facility for the production of products shipped worldwide. (15-20 direct jobs and numerous indirect jobs).
- IDA provided supplementary funding of approximately $250,000 for the construction and maintenance of the County’s recreational complex and ball fields.
- Began investigating the creation and construction of a ubiquitous (omnipresent) Broadband system throughout the entire geographical area of Hardee County. This system was constructed by early 2011 and provides superior broadband service at extremely competitive rates to the citizens of the County. Thru this initiative we have successfully created a direct connection to the main “fiber” communications network in the State and nation referred to as an ILA/POP (15 direct jobs and unknown additional positive impacts related to indirect job creation due to the presence of Broadband).
- IDA provided approximately $300,000 to the county to pave Gebhart Road which borders the Commerce Park on the west.
- Negotiated and acquired an additional 104 acres adjacent to the commerce park for future park expansion. Design and engineering on this section has begun and expansion of roads and infrastructure will begin in the next 12 to 18 months. The Commerce Park has a total of 264 acres. There are only three lots left in the initial section.
- Consolidated the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Office, Industrial Development Office, Wauchula Main Street and the Wauchula Community Redevelopment agency to unify efforts to diversify Hardee County’s economy.
- Recruited Howard Fertilizer distribution center to a privately constructed “spec” building in the Commerce Park (7 employees plus indirect transportation jobs).
- Successfully negotiated an agreement with the Mosaic Company to provide to the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority $42,000,000 for economic development over an approximate 10 year period beginning in 2011. The disbursements from the company include two initial payments of $5,000,000 each followed by eight payments of $4,000,000 each. This agreement has resulted thus far into $1,000,000 into the Board of County Commissioner’s General Revenue.
- Recruited first company into the Commerce Park (Organics South). This company has been acquired by a $200,000,000 NASDAQ traded company (Nutraceutical). Additional land has been acquired by purchase from the IDA (2011), a $600,000 building and an additional (2011) 8 acres in the Commerce Park to expand their operations. They currently have around 25 employees, but will expand employment soon operating under the name Seychelles Organics, a subsidiary of Nutrapure and Nutraceutical.
- Successfully recruited Pacer Marine (60-80 employees) to the Commerce Park. This company built a 20,000 sq. ft. masonry manufacturing facility. Even thru the recent downturn in marine related industry, the company has kept employment steady or increasing.
- Recruited SCOSTA to the Hardee Commerce Park. SCOSTA acquired land from the IDA and constructed an approximately 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility. They are a truss manufacturing facility, and despite the severe economic impacts have managed to continue employment ranging from 6-15 employees. As construction rebounds their employment is expected to increase.
- Utilized initial disbursements of the severance tax revenues to pay off all debt from acquisition costs, completion of the development of the Commerce Park in Hardee County, (including utilities, roads, surface water management construction) and to begin operations/ marketing program.
- Began implementing the projects identified in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s long term recovery plan as a result of hurricane Charley.
- Successfully lobbied the Florida Legislature to create the Hardee County Economic Development Authority for the purpose of utilizing redistributed severance tax dollars from phosphate mining to provide funding for economic development and infrastructure related to same.
- Negotiated an approx. $200,000 escrow for natural gas development in the County from Peoples/TECO for use of right of way along CR 663.
- Initiated the acquisition of land for a 160 acre Commerce Park and creation of County Utilities in proximity to the park and growth corridor along US 17 in Hardee County.
- Recruited and facilitated the location of Seaboard Supply, acquired by Old Castle, Inc. with approx. 40 direct and 100’s of indirect jobs related to harvesting and trucking of timber and mulch.
- Facilitated/negotiated with Vandola Power Partners to construct a $750,000,000 “merchant” power plant in Hardee County with competitive offering of property tax abatement. The company today is operating as Northern Star Generation and has facilities in multiple locations across the US continent. Ad valorem tax roll contributions and employment, both direct and indirect is substantial.
- Completed the construction of the Vandolah waste water treatment plant with waste water services from CR663 to the airport.
- Successfully provided for water and wastewater service to a prominent site in the growth corridor for South Florida State College to locate a satellite campus.
- Negotiated with Gulfstream Natural Gas $300,000 for park enhancements at Hardee Lakes (1200 acre natural park owned and operated by the County) as the main gas line infrastructure crisscrossed thru the County.
- The EDC in conjunction with the BOCC has lobbied to keep the multiple lane expansion of US 17 as a State and regional priority.