Haas Center $95K Plan For Century Economic Development Scaled Back

October 17, 2018

The proposal to spend $95,000 in county funds to plan economic development in Century is being scaled back.

The University of West Florida Haas Center proposed to use $95,000 in economic development funding from Escambia County.

The monies were designated by the commission for economic development initiatives in the Century area but were not awarded directly to the town or chamber. Instead, funding requests were to be submitted to District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry for presentation to the entire commission for approval.

According to Century Town Planner Debbie Nickles, the county did not want to exhaust all available funding at the time, instead sending the Haas Center proposals back to the Century town council to prioritize.

This week, council members selected their top five plans:

  1. Market analysis to assess the feasibility of mixed/use/commercial and/or residential development in reference to various vacant parcels and buildings within the town.  – $24,500.
  2. Market study of the Century Industrial Park to examine the historical trends in relation to industrial demand, assess current available industrial land sites and  buildings and consider trends and availability to comparable communities – $25,000.
  3. Strategic plan metrics and dashboard to collect public data across various metrics and to present them in an on line dashboard format in order to determine progress toward the achievement of the identified economic objectives as defined in the town’s economic development strategic plan – $15,000.
  4. Health Assessment and needs study to assess Century residents’ health behavior and to gauge how investment into the Community Health Northwest Florida’s expansion has increased access to resources and  overall health needs of the community – $15,500.
  5. CRA project mapping tool that allows users to view and interact with the spatial data (parcels, CRA boundaries, waterways, walkways, etc.) associated with the Century CRA implementation – $15,000.

The Escambia County Commission will decide at a future date which projects, if any, are funded. The funding pool included $55,000 from last fiscal year that was never spent, plus $50,000 from the current fiscal year.

Pictured: The unoccupied, town-owned former Helicopter Technology Building in the Century Industrial Park. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge


10 Responses to “Haas Center $95K Plan For Century Economic Development Scaled Back”

  1. just sayin on October 19th, 2018 3:11 pm

    There needs to be a study to determine why Century needs another study.

  2. Southbound on October 18th, 2018 6:05 am

    It just takes a drive through Century on 29 to discourage any business interested in setting up shop. Its like a third world country.
    What a dump and just across the railroad tracks is Flomation that is easier on the eyes.
    First impressions and curb appeal go a long way and Century severely lacks both. Skilled labor might be available but to the average job creator it appears the average person cant use a weed eater or lawn mower. Lets not even consider the dirty politics involved.
    I rode through Century with a wealthy investor/job creator and he stated he wouldn’t consider even a gas station in the place.
    Its really that bad.

  3. abstract on October 17th, 2018 5:39 pm

    In the spirit of Chris Farley’s Bennet Brauer commentary / motivational speaker…

    Well, sounds like good progress was made on “beginning” a “feasibility study” for “starting” the “research” to “initiate” the “process” of “commencing” towards the goal of “launching” the “market analysis” phase… which ain’t gonna amount to JACK SQUAT.

  4. M in Bratt on October 17th, 2018 3:19 pm

    Instead of spending thousands of dollars on “market studies”, let’s spend the same money on MARKETING what is already here. Also get the Town of Century clown show out of the way by lobbying the legislature to cancel the town charter and disband the Town of Century. A North Escambia Chamber of Commerce could be very effective without the Century Clown Show in the way.

  5. Chelleepea on October 17th, 2018 11:48 am

    We don’t need anymore studies….we need ideas and projects and we need to execute them. Stop wasting money on studies. With 100k we can jump start 5 small businesses.

  6. chris on October 17th, 2018 11:41 am

    “Century Industrial Park to examine the historical trends” – how about crickets, that’s the trend in Century’s growth. If you took these funds and just threw them in the garbage can, you would get the same end result from Century. Just remember, Catfish plant, Indoor farm, Helicopter plant.

  7. SOUTHERNER on October 17th, 2018 11:15 am

    Scale back to $0.

  8. Bama54 on October 17th, 2018 10:00 am

    Maybe use the monies for hwy 29 corridor for extending the sewer main north through Molino. This would bring business and growth to the north End of the county. This was promised when the sewer plant was moved from downtown Pensacola. Still waiting!!

  9. Jay on October 17th, 2018 8:30 am

    Are you kidding me? Hopefully the county commission will look at these proposals and reject spending any tax money on projects like these. Just give it to a realtor, put a for rent sign on it and be done with it!

  10. For Government Oversight on October 17th, 2018 7:13 am

    Sorry, but there is already study upon study pouring more good money after bad and ending up with the same old results. Century is a still Century with an inept town government, where no industry in its right mind would ever locate there. On top of this, spending $15K for interactive mapping tool? Please! What a complete display of wasteful spending of taxpayer’s money.

    Mr. Barry, you must vote no!

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