UWF Requests Elimination Of Public Feedback On $24.5K Century Market Analysis

May 16, 2019

UPDATE: The Escambia County Commission is dropping a contract amendment eliminating public feedback on a market analysis for Century and adding 60 days to the contract term to allow the University of West Florida to complete all aspects of the original contract.

Original Story:

The University of West Florida is asking to eliminate public feedback as part of a market analysis for the Town of Century.

The $24,500 market study is being funded by Escambia County.

The market analysis will assess the feasibility of mixed use commercial and residential development in reference to various parcels and buildings within the town, according to the proposal. “The analysis will help define community needs, a profile of customers, potential for profitability and growth, as well as consider both competition and barriers to development onto the market,” it states.

The original agreement executed last year between the county and the University of West Florida Haas Center called for a draft report to be delivered by March 1, followed by public feedback on the draft report by April 30 and a final report delivered by June 30.

The university contacted the county in mid-March to provide direction “whether or not focus groups could still be an effective method of feedback” for the report. Thursday, the Escambia County Commission will consider an amendment to the purchase order to remove community feedback. The price of the study will not change.

The funds will come from a $95,000 county funding pool that includes $55,000 from last fiscal year that was never spent, plus $50,000 from the current fiscal year. The Haas Center had proposed four additional projects that would have used the full $95,000 balance.

The four Haas Center proposals that were not funded were:

  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 market analysis was ranked by the Century Town Council as the most important of the projects after Escambia County Commissioner Steven asked for a priority ranking.

NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.


12 Responses to “UWF Requests Elimination Of Public Feedback On $24.5K Century Market Analysis”

  1. Wise Years on May 18th, 2019 11:11 pm

    Mr.Haas was a friend of mine and he would never have recommended eliminating public feedback. Just sayin… HEY is no friend.

  2. tg on May 17th, 2019 6:46 am

    UWF will probably recamend elimination of Century.

  3. Why not... on May 16th, 2019 8:36 pm

    One more comment.

    Redevelopment and economic development more often begin in downtowns.

    North of Molino, there is no central downtown core. Including in Century.

    The mention of mixed use developments conjures up a well known proverb about successful development:

    Location, Location, Location.

  4. Why not... on May 16th, 2019 7:54 pm

    Yet another reason why this municipality should be dissolved. The county is essentially doing the work that a municipal government should be doing.

    The flaw in the entire concept is that this study should have been done for all of the unincorporated areas north of Molino AND the municipality of Century. Focusing solely on Century ignores the broader and wider range of problems across the northern sector of Escambia County. Low paying jobs, low job opportunities, illiteracy, poor internet connectivity, low educational and high tech skill attainment levels, lack of tourism, housing dilapidated, drug abuse, outsider suspicion, nearly politically and religiously homogeneous, expensive to commute to job centers, limited food sources, limited medical services, confinement by another state, at great distance from the economic engine of downstate Florida, no interstate highway traversing area, no major junction between two or more major highways, lack of investment capital and financial skills and savvy. There are certainly positives (good community water systems, major four lane highway, located in same county with larger regional urban service center in Pensacola, two railways, significant timber and agricultural resources, abundant fresh groundwater supply, extensive wetland preservation areas.

    This report should look at all of these factors in a comprehensive manner.

  5. Resident on May 16th, 2019 4:44 pm

    See the update, How will they take comments? Do you know if they will take emails?

  6. Chelleepea on May 16th, 2019 9:30 am

    They must feel like we wouldn’t have good feedback? Like we who live here don’t know what we need? Seriously?

  7. chris on May 16th, 2019 9:19 am

    In the court of public opinion, Century is less than a joke. It’s corrupt, inept, and managed very poorly. Who in their right mind would want to spend time hearing what the public has to say about Century, and who would want to pour money into that black hole?

  8. Dale Roads on May 16th, 2019 8:29 am

    If taxpayer money is being used for the study and West Florida gets MILLIONS in public funding, what are they trying to hide. Century is a crooked little town.
    Really curious as to why West Florida wants NO public input.

  9. Bama Bob on May 16th, 2019 7:35 am

    They are going to have to flush the toilet and sweep the floor, clean up the town before they can expect any meaningful development. This market analysis comes at no charge….you’re welcome.

  10. Ruthie on May 16th, 2019 7:04 am

    Century has far too many secrets and secretive business. I cannot for the life of me understand why Escambia County would even consider doing anything behind closed doors with these people. The entire town has become a pile of mildew and mold that just gets getting worse and smelling to high heaven!

  11. Duke of Wawbeek on May 16th, 2019 5:51 am

    I do not care for bad comedy and tasteless jokes, directed at the dispirited.

    Obviously UWF and I share this view.

  12. Resident on May 16th, 2019 1:22 am

    It would have been better to clean up the destroyed saw mill Pierce the coporate veil and find the owners. Clean up the gateway and landscape area. After a while the “community” says forget it, so one listen anyway.

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