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County courts aircraft maker

The company, which would provide 200 jobs, also is looking at Homestead and the Daytona Beach area.

An aircraft manufacturer is considering Hernando County for a 70,000-square-foot operation that would provide 200 jobs, economic development officials said Wednesday.

The company, code-named Project TeTon, also is considering Homestead and the Daytona Beach area, which is offering incentives worth "seven figures," Bonnie Chichester, staff member of the Economic Development Commission, told EDC board members.

EDC officials are trying to attract the company to the Hernando County Airport, said Rick Michael, EDC executive director, but first must find grants and other money that would help pay for roads and infrastructure.

"You end up presenting a conceptual proposal," Michael said.

The company would provide a good exchange opportunity between Pasco-Hernando Community College and employees, who could take classes at the school, Michael said.

Chichester said it would employ about 200 people.

"It would have a major impact in terms of employees, high skills, high wages," Michael said.

On another project, the EDC expects the state Department of Community Affairs to ship paperwork to the county for a $750,000 grant by the end of this month.The money would help pay for infrastructure at Interstate 75 and State Road 50.

The department orally approved giving the county the grant during a site visit last month.

The grant lets the county seal the deal with Polaris Pool Systems Inc. of Vista, Calif. The company wants to build a manufacturing and distribution center for residential and commercial pool accessories.

Once established at the interstate, the company will close its Spring Hill store and move its 12 employees to the new site, said Greg Howard, president and chief executive officer of Polaris Pool Systems.

According to the county's grant application, Polaris will employ 30 people. Of those, 12 will be assemblers making $8 an hour, six office/clerical workers will make $7 an hour, five warehouse employees will earn $7 an hour, three operators will earn $10 an hour and four managers will make $15 hourly.

Development board adds

members, names officers

The Hernando County Economic Development Commission added two members to its board Wednesday and appointed new officers to begin serving next month. Len Tria, vice president of business development for Coastal Engineering Associates, and state Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite were chosen as two new at-large members who will serve four-year terms. The two were chosen from 13 applicants and will replace outgoing members Dennis Taylor and Barbara Adams. EDC president Morris Porton will be replaced by vice president Donald Clifford.

The new vice president will be Robert Buckner. Denis Jessen was chosen as secretary, and Gus Guadagnino was chosen as treasurer.