Century Seeks $4.9 Million In Oil Spill Money For Five Town Projects

September 12, 2017

The Town of Century has approved five projects totaling $4.9 million to be submitted for possible funding with oil spill money.

The projects, which are detailed below as submitted, were discussed in a recent joint workshop with the Century Area Chamber of Commerce. The projects will now be submitted to the Escambia County Commission for possible funding through Triumph Gulf Coast.

The Gulf Coast Economic Corridor Act signed by Gov. Rick Scott on June 2 directs $1.5 billion to be spent over a 15 year period in eight counties in Northwest Florida that were impacted by the oil spill. The act directs Escambia and other seven other counties to seek proposals from other local governing boards withing their county.

Activities eligible for funding include ad valorem tax rate reductions, workforce skill development, local funding match requirements, public infrastructure projects, equipment and personnel for local disaster action plans, promotion of tourism and workforce and educational career development programs.

The town council Monday night chose the five project from a field of six, rejecting a Welcome Center project as be to related to tourism, which town consultant Debbie Nickels said would not score well with Triumph.

The five projects are:

Century Workforce Development and Readiness Program  — $750,000

This project will consist of a collaboration between PSC, CareerSource EscaRosa, the Century Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Century. Funds will be utilized to expand and develop Workforce Education programs available in the areas of manufacturing, information, logistics, technology and skilled trades. Tuition assistance for ABE/GED classes and testing as well as employment readiness, financial literacy and soft skills training will be provided. It will expand the poverty reduction initiatives already in place through “Century Area Getting Ahead” and establishing a Bridges out of Poverty/ Bridges to a Sustainable Community development team.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements –  $338,897

This project includes numerous improvements to the Town’s Wastewater Treatment  Plant. The plant is aging and a number of its critical systems are beginning to fail. The improvements include the following: Clarifier repairs; return activated sludge pump replacement; effluent pump replacement; sidestream wastewater return pump replacement; gas chemical feed equipment replacement; grit removal from plant tankage; equalization basin repairs; and, filter repairs.

Century Grown — $30,000

This project will establish a “Century Grown” community partnership market-garden-kitchen which will  establish sustainable food source through gardening, food and nutrition education and culinary arts. A project of this nature could be a strong catalyst to facilitate spin-off business as well as a farmers  market. Added benefits would also establish stronger community bonds through partnerships. To build the concept, the Town will reach out to the American Community Gardening Association, USDA and the UF Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences for technical expertise. Partnership opportu nities exist within the community to involve organizations such as the Century Chamber, Churches, educational institutions, individual residents as well as local restaurants and farmers.

Town of Century Sewage Lift Station Repair — $1,291,568

This project includes the replacement of twelve vacuum-type sewage pumps with new  submersible sewage pumps. The existing vacuum-type sewage pumps have outlived their useful lifespan and Town staff are having problems finding parts to service the stations. Submersible pumps are more efficient, easier to maintain and less like to be vandalized. Supervisory Control and Date Acquisition (SCADA) systems are proposed for each station as well as further improve reliability and troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently.

Century Community Recreation and Youth Development — $2.5 million

The former Century High School/Carver Middle School Gymnasium, currently owned by Pensacola State College, has not been used since 2003. Vandalism, lack of use/maintenance and tornado damage has made it in dire need of renovation in order to make it available for after-school and summer youth activities, recreational, fitness, and college readiness programs for the community at large. A youth development organization such as Boys and Girls Club would be funded to manage the activities that would support K-20 educational programming, violence/drug use prevention, career exploration and youth leadership.

REJECTED PROJECT

Welcome to the Northern Gate of Escambia County — $500,000

This project is to construct a walking park around the large retention pond located at the comer of West Cottage Street and  U.S. Highway 29 in Century and to purchase a one-acre parcel (the former town hall) directly adjacent to the retention pond in order to construct a Welcome Station, construct a parking area, install landscaping, move the Welcome to Florida sign to this site and create  a photo-op area. Currently, hundreds of travelers annually pull over near the Welcome to Florida sign at the end of the Alabama-Florida overpass and risk injury to cross the road and walk up the embankment for a photo-op.

Construction of a new Welcome Station in conjunction with moving the Welcome to Florida sign would eliminate safety concerns for visitors. A kiosk for brochures about Escambia County, Pensacola, the beaches, Naval Air Museum, etc., could be provided. In addition, benches and picnic tables could be installed around and/or near the walking trail. These improvements would encourage travelers to stop, take pictures, enjoy the facilities, eat and/or make purchases at local businesses.

Pictured: The properties that were considered for a half million dollar “Welcome to the Northern Gate of Escambia County”  Triumph Gulf Coast project. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

9 Responses to “Century Seeks $4.9 Million In Oil Spill Money For Five Town Projects”

  1. Marty McFly on September 14th, 2017 10:02 pm

    What up Biff.
    Sounds like you need someone to have a little Economic Development.

    The idea to buy the old Town Hall actually sounds a little interesting set up some type of Florida souvenir shop possibly get people to slow down.

  2. Resident on September 13th, 2017 8:17 am

    New #1 project for Century — Free Drug Rehab Center
    New #2 — Jobs!

    Would solve many problems

  3. Biff on September 13th, 2017 8:14 am

    I agree with Johnny how is centry entitled to anything . funny they are able to put in for money .I worked on a boat that was at ground zero 2 months later lost my job and got told I wasn’t eliagble for anything but stripper could get 5k taxi drivers and company’s got 50k .I got to clean out my savings .now centry gets. Millions yeah please tell me how they where affected .

  4. mel on September 12th, 2017 7:01 pm

    More money for a lost cause . Give it to the government to cover the cost of the free housing and help out us tax paying folks . just a thought .

  5. chris on September 12th, 2017 2:54 pm

    Yes because all those kids in Century do cooking and woodworking in their spare time.

  6. Concerned on September 12th, 2017 9:29 am

    If somehow could combine 3 of the projects example century workforce readiness and development, Century Grown, and century community recreation and development. To also involve the schools already culinary program this could be a win win for our youth to learn train and thrive to become better citizens. Even involve the agriculture and wood working or contracting programs that are established in the schools to help build and maintain these projects so that the children earn skills to move on to adults and help train the Younger generations to help keep and maintain the program throughout many years. Meanwhile century reaps the benefits for years to come. Just an idea.

  7. William on September 12th, 2017 8:22 am

    It was mandated that any governmental entity in the counties that are receiving the spill money could apply. So that includes the county, Pensacola, Century, ECUA, etc.

  8. Johnny on September 12th, 2017 7:55 am

    And how was century effected by the oil spill?

  9. aam on September 12th, 2017 7:37 am

    Great for Century, but I wonder what does some of these projects have to do with the oil money? Some of these projects lost nothing from the oil spill in our area. This is what creates the Spillionaire concepts throughout the U.S.
    Is there no oversite from the Government on how this money is spent. Why don’t they set up a clinic and deliver medical attention to those who responded to the clean up efforts that now have chronic health issues?





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