PSJ selected for state pilot program

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 09:41 AM.

A little planning led to a helping hand for the city of Port St. Joe.

The city was selected this week as one of four cities and counties to participate in a pilot project coordinated through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The program, called the Competitive Florida Partnership, is a technical assistance program aimed at assisting communities, particularly rural communities, with ideas and strategies for economic development.

Port St. Joe, the city of White Springs, the city of Newberry and Desoto County were selected as the first four rural communities to participate in the program.

In part, city attorney Tom Gibson said, Port St. Joe rose on the radar of the DEO as officials pressed ahead with updates to the city’s comprehensive plan.

“We’ve been over the last five or six years a lot more proactive with our comprehensive planning than we had been before,” Gibson said.

City officials, for example, have in the past year held several public hearings and meetings on the economic development component of the comp plan and the DEO has provided grant funds for an update to the Port of Port St. Joe master plan, a significant part of the city’s economic development.

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