Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills looks to boost economic development efforts

ZEPHYRHILLS – City Council members unanimously agreed on two deals Monday designed to boost the city's economic outlook.

The city will contribute $50,000 to the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce to help create an economic development coalition, a collaborative effort between the city, the chamber, Main Street and the Pasco Economic Development Council. City officials have been discussing the initiative for more than a year, when a 2011 task force studying ways to increase economic opportunities recommended the coalition.

Council members approved the concept for the coalition when they set aside the $50,000 to assist with start-up costs during September budget discussions; Monday's vote approved a formal contract with the chamber.

Under the terms of the contract, the chamber will manage and house the coalition from its Fifth Avenue office and work with partners on marketing and promotional strategies, as well as outreach and research to support existing businesses and attract new ones.

Council president Kenneth Compton described the coalition as an "unprecedented" effort that should bring more jobs to the city.

"We've been working on this a long time," said council member Lance Smith. "I'm excited to see these groups working together and getting this started."

Immediately after sealing the deal with the chamber, council members gave unanimous assent to spending $20,000 on a one-year contract with the Pasco Economic Development Council. The group will create an extensive marketing program, provide assistance to small businesses, work on bringing a technical education center to the city, and give Zephyrhills a non-voting "seat at the table" with the council's board of directors.

City Manager Jim Drumm said the money for the agreement can be drawn from a $25,000 pot the council set aside in this year's budget for promotions.

Council member Jodi Wilkeson said access to the PEDC's database, containing important contacts throughout the state, makes the deal especially attractive. Council member Charles Proctor said if not for the opportunity to have a city representative attending PEDC board meetings, he would not have voted for the deal.

.fast facts

In other council business

Dozens of Frontier Acres residents attended the Zephyrhills City Council meeting and spoke against the possibility of their neighborhood being annexed into the city.

City Manager Jim Drumm said he has been holding informational meetings with affected residents while gathering information to help city staff decide on a recommendation. The issue, which wasn't on the agenda, began with a letter from neighboring Forest Lake Estates late last year requesting the annexation.

"We're still in the research mode," said Drumm. "When we're done with that, we'll prepare a report that will be presented to council."

Since coming to Zephyrhills in 2011, Drumm has looked into annexing properties to not only expand the city's boundaries, but to clean up its pockets and enclaves that give the city a "Swiss cheese" shape. In some areas, the uneven boundaries create confusion over which government agency — city or county — is responsible for providing services. Several voluntary annexations occurred last year.

Zephyrhills looks to boost economic development efforts 02/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 8:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

  3. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse

    Politics

    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  4. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.