The $12.1 million project will be carried out over the next 350 days at Flagler County Executive Airport. It will also create new space at the north end of the airport for more building construction.
Economic Development Council
The $15.8 million is not necessarily new money but includes at least $5.3 million Flagler County has been lobbying for to rebuild dunes. Gov. Scott made the announcement at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park’s beach.
Flagler County government is making its most expensive pitch to attract 250 jobs, a high-tech finance company based in the Northeast and looking to expand either in Florida or Georgia.
The 4 percent surtax currently generates $2 million a year. An extra penny would add $500,000, but there are differences over whether all the added revenue should go to beach restoration or whether some should go to marketing the county.
Manufacturer Gioia Sales employs 42 on Palm Coast’s Hargrove Grade and would build a larger facility on Commerce Boulevard, with 10 years of subsidies from Flagler County.
FEMA’s declaration will let homeowners claim up to $33,000 in repair or recovery expenses attributed to Hurricane Matthew. The beaches in Flagler Beach will reopen from North 4th Street to South 8th Street on Wednesday, and go further after the weekend.
The new National Guard center will house 30 to 40 people and a revolving corps of 100 to 200 weekend reservists, the equivalent of a significant new company’s economic impact. And this one won’t go under or go back on its promises.
Flagler’s FEMA declaration applied to government, not to homeowners’ losses. That second declaration is still pending, and it’s not a given as FEMA evaluators continue to scour the county to assess damages.
When Florida’s under-employed and discouraged workers are included, the state’s unemployment rate zooms up to 10.6 percent, higher than the national rate of 9.6 percent.
Flagler’s unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point in a year, and is down from 8.3 percent two years ago. The rate went down even though 179 fewer people held jobs in April, because the labor force shrank by a larger number.