A look at governmental action from around the Gulf Coast
Source Interlink gets incentive
LEE COUNTY — The County Commission approved $1 million in funding from the FIRST Initiative incentive program to expand Source Interlink Companies Inc., an integrated media, publishing, merchandising and distribution company. The performance-based, $25-million program was created to encourage business growth and community development.
Source Interlink will create or transfer 350 positions from other locations to its Bonita Springs headquarters, where its finance, human resources, IT, tax and senior executive functions are located. The consolidation is expected to increase the number of full-time employees in Lee County from 260 to 610 within two years. The project is anticipated to have a $334.6 million economic impact on the community over five years. The average employee wage will be 179% of the Lee County average.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — Hillsborough County's planning and growth management department recently started producing an email newsletter. Topics covered have included community planning, rezoning procedures, land development code reviews, and flood maps. Those interested in signing up for the newsletter can visit the department's Web site at: www.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm and click on the “E-Newsletter” link under “Resources.”
Green business designation
TAMPA — Mayor Pam Iorio is beginning a “Green Business Designation Program” for the city of Tampa. The designation recognizes businesses that adopt energy efficiency and sustainable practices. According to a press release, in partnership with The Sustany Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit, the city will review and validate the green and sustainable practices of local businesses.
Participating businesses will be reviewed against criteria that evaluate their level of sustainability including green policies and practices. A business can achieve one of three levels of green designation. Businesses that receive the designation will be allowed to post their achievement. Also, the organization will be included on the city's green Web page as part of Tampa's “Green Pages” for businesses. The program is scheduled to start Sept. 1, pending council approval. For more information, contact Green Officer Thom Snelling at (813) 310-0301.
$31.2 million in contracts
SARASOTA COUNTY — The Sarasota County Commission approved contracts totaling $31.2 million for the design or construction of 14 infrastructure projects across the county. Among the biggest contracts are two road projects: Honore Avenue Phase 2 ($14.24 million), and Fruitville Road Phase 1 ($4.35 million). Other major contracts include replacement of the Dona and Roberts Bay bridge trestles ($3.14 million), and construction of Fire Station 1 in downtown Sarasota ($3.11 million).
Orioles nest in Sarasota
SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with the Baltimore Orioles to move to the County for spring training beginning in 2010. The agreement was approved after the Sarasota City Commission approved a deal transferring Ed Smith Stadium to the county.
Specific terms of the agreement include a 30-year lease, a $31.2 million renovation/expansion of Ed Smith Stadium and major league baseball areas at Twin Lakes Park, stadium naming rights for the Orioles, promotion of Sarasota County in the Baltimore/Washington metro area, and establishment of a Cal Ripken Youth Baseball Academy at Twin Lakes Park. Major upgrades of the combined 89 acres of usable space are expected to begin after 2010 spring training.
$6 million for Oil Well Road
COLLIER COUNTY — The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has committed $6 million in Transportation Regional Incentive Program grant funds for the Oil Well Road construction project scheduled to be submitted for construction bids later this summer. According to a press release, this is the only project in the 12-county area of FDOT District One to receive money from the program this fiscal year.
Candidate forums planned
ST. PETERSBURG — The first candidate forums are to be televised on the city's StPeteTV government access channels. Hosted by the League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg, the two forums will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 (city council candidates) and Thursday, Aug. 6 (mayoral candidates) in the council chamber, 175 Fifth St. N.
All 10 candidates for St. Petersburg mayor will participate on Aug. 6. The forum will be moderated by Amanda Patanow, president of the League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg.
Nine candidates running in city council districts 4, 5 and 6 will participate in the candidate Aug. 4 forum. Bob Dillinger, public defender of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida will serve as moderator. Candidates running in city council districts 2 and 8 will not participate in the August forum since each district has only two candidates on the September ballot. They will be invited to appear at another round of forums in October prior to the Nov. 3 general election.
The forums will be carried live on StPeteTV (Channel 35 broadcast, 615 Bright House, 15 Knology and 20 Verizon Fios) and streamed on www.stpete.org. The forums will be re-broadcast periodically until the primary election on Sept. 1.
Environmental Land Development Code amendments are the subject of a meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 in the offices of the Community Development and Environmental Services Division, Conference Room 610, at 2800 N. Horseshoe Drive.
The Lee County Commission is holding a budget workshop at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 11 in the commission chambers, 2120 Main St. in Fort Myers.
The Manatee County Commission is conducting a strategic planning session from 1:30 to5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3 in the Manatee Room #502, County Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W. in downtown Bradenton.
The Pasco County Commission is holding a workshop on the International City Managers Association budget prioritization 9 a.m. to 12 noon Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the Pasco-Hernando Community College West Campus auditorium, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey.