Economic development pilot gets underway

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:07 PM.

That begins what the DEO hopes will be a long-term project to create a kind of central clearinghouse for economic development efforts around the state, leading to a template of sorts for communities to enhance their competitiveness.

The disparate spots on the spectrum occupied by communities, Dennis said, were apparent during the introductory meetings with local officials at the four participating communities.

Whereas the city of Port St. Joe can offer written strategic documents from the Port of Port St. Joe Gulf Coast State College and the Gulf County Economic Development Alliance, Inc. (EDA) as well as a comp plan element pertaining to economic development, Dennis said other communities have nothing on paper and no real organized plans.

The city of Port St. Joe applied to be included in the pilot program, modeled after a similar program in Mississippi, while drafting the economic development element to the city’s comprehensive plan.

The comp plan effort served as a sort of introductory to the community for the DEO, which continued that introduction process last week.

In addition to a tour of the community, local and DEO staff worked on a scope of work for the pilot project and a timeline, with dollars attached to deliverables at each step, and local stakeholders needed to provide input and help craft the final case study.

A final scope of work is to be submitted to the DEO before the end of the week.

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