Since Flagler County government created the $450,000-a-year economic development department, the county has added 10,000 jobs, but only a few dozen as a result of the department’s involvement.
Economic Development Council
The collapse of a deal between a furniture-assembling company and Flagler County government is the latest setback for an economic development department with a checkered eight-year history and signal failures.
The stories told by Mullins’s hyper-optimism and the county administration’s more cautious and deliberate approach illustrate a recurring gulf between the politician’s wishes and promises and what the government administration is in fact delivering (or not).
A furniture distribution company would build the largest structure in Flagler, a 250,000 square foot building, off U.S. 1 and provide 50 jobs in exchange for the $680,000 in direct subsidies over the next 10 years, an amount extrapolated from a largely speculative guess of how much the company would be taxed.
Flagler County is teaming with the federal government to split the $100 million cost of dune renourishment in Flagler Beach, but the deal is fraught with uncertainties, and Flagler can only pay its first phase.
The Bunnell City Commission approved an angry resolution against the county, instigating a feud that county officials say is misconstruing the county’s and sheriff’s intentions and missing the bigger picture.
The Flagler Chamber of Commerce roughly once a year devotes one of its Common Ground breakfasts to spotlight local education’s major players, as it did this morning at Palm Coast’s Hilton Garden Inn.
Flagler County government wants to spend $284,000 on a tourism website over the next four years. It has already spent $1 million on three websites in the past nine.
Flagler’s unemployment rate is at a healthy 4.1 percent, where it’s been, give or take a few decimal points, for seven months, with the state’s unemployment mirroring the holding pattern.
Flagler County’s labor force has grown by 42 percent since the recovery began in 2010, and more impressively, the rate of people holding jobs has grown 63 percent, by a net 17,500 people.