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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 10 years ago

Government Digest 12/04/09

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A look at governmental action from around the Gulf Coast.
by: Jay Brady Government Editor

Port Manatee TIF
MANATEE COUNTY — In hopes of attracting new business, the county commission established the Port Manatee Improvement District Nov. 17 — a tax-increment-finance (TIF) district — and will serve as its governing body.

The TIF district enables the county to reinvest revenues collected from future property value increases in the zone to fund port-related economic development activities such as infrastructure and capital improvement projects.

District boundaries begin at the coastline of Tampa Bay on the west including Port Manatee, to just east of Interstate 75, south to approximately Buckeye Road and north to the Manatee-Hillsborough county line. The TIF district complements the Port Manatee Encouragement Zone — nearly 5,000 acres of privately-owned, developable land just outside the port. The encouragement zone offers incentives to entice major shippers and developers seeking sites for
distribution centers, warehouses and other related facilities. Incentives include:

• TIF District;
• Development of Regional Impact exemption (eliminating the often years-long process);
• Impact fee reductions;
• Expedited permit approvals;
• Expedited rezoning options;
• Extension of foreign trade zone No. 169.

Sportsplex site recommended
PASCO COUNTY — Sportsplex USA, the California-based company which entered into a public/private partnership with the county to develop a multipurpose sports complex, released its final recommendations to the county in a 175-page market analysis report Nov. 25. The report recommends a 24-acre parcel in Trinity, located off State Road 54 and Trinity Boulevard. Over the past four months, Sportsplex staff have visited and evaluated nine sites in Pasco. They also conducted a market analysis of the area and an economic impact assessment of the proposed complex. County commissioners will have the final say on where to build the $11 million facility and voted Tuesday to delay that decision until Jan. 26. Sportsplex has recommended a combination of baseball and softball fields, multipurpose and football fields, batting cages and a restaurant.

Davenport steps down
LEE COUNTY — Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) Executive Director Suya Davenport announced Nov. 25 her plans to resign effective Dec. 10. She plans to return to the private sector to work or consult with hotels and the hospitality industry. Davenport joined the VCB in June 2007. A search for Davenport's successor has begun and a new director is expected to take over by March 1. Lee County Manager Karen Hawes has named VCB Deputy Director Tamara Pigott as interim director. The VCB has a budget of $11.7 million and 24 employees, including sales offices in Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as representation in France.

Rail special session
TALLAHASSEE — The Legislature went into special session Dec. 3 to hash out a passenger rail bill that would fund the SunRail commuter rail project in Central Florida and provide funding for financially strapped Tri-Rail in south Florida. Increases in gas tax revenues and recent fee increases are possible sources to fund rail projects and make the state a more likely recipient of federal funds for a proposed high-speed rail project connecting Tampa, Orlando and Miami. The session is expected to end on or before Thursday, Dec. 10.

MEETINGS

MANATEE COUNTY
The Manatee County Port Authority will hold a strategic planning work session at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the Manatee Room, 5th floor, Manatee County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton.

PASCO COUNTY
The county commission will hold a workshop with staff of the International City-County Managers Association on a draft business plan at 9 a.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Pasco-Hernando Community College - East Campus Conference Center, Building A (Room A240-241), 36727 Blanton Road, Dade City.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 10 at the Historic Pasco County Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., Dade City.

PINELLAS COUNTY
The Tourist Development Council d/b/a Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the 5th floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-6633.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the Pinellas County Courthouse, BCC assembly room, fifth Floor, 315 Court Street, Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-8200.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
The Metropolitan Planning Organization holds a public hearing on the long-range transportation plan Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the BOCC Chambers, County Center, 2nd FL, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. For more information contact Linda Ferraro at (813) 272-5940 or at [email protected].

TAMPA BAY
The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) board of directors meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the Florida Department of Transportation District Seven office, 11201 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa. For more information call (813) 220-0526.

COLLIER COUNTY
The Bayshore Triangle Community Redevelopment Agency Local Advisory Board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the East Naples Community Center, 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples.

LEE COUNTY
The county commission will hear departments' strategic plan presentations at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the commission chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers.

The Tourist Development Council meets at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at 12800 University Drive, Suite 325, Fort Myers.

The annual Lee County delegation meeting is at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 at Taeni Hall (Room S-117) on Edison College's campus in Fort Myers, 8099 College Parkway. The meeting includes a public hearing and workshop on proposed local bills and community budget issue requests, along with a public hearing on other issues for people registered to speak. State Rep. Gary Aubuchon is chairman of the Lee County legislative delegation. For more information contact the chief legislative assistant to Aubuchon at (239) 344-4900.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY
The board of county commissioners and the Punta Gorda City Council will hold a joint meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, 18500 Murdock Circle, administration building, room 119, Port Charlotte. For more information contact Marie Pecorella at (941) 743-1944.

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