It’s No Secret: Century’s Mayor Says New Industry Will Jump-start Growth

January 23, 2023

It’s no secret that Century Mayor Ben Boutwell is excited about a new industry that promises a handful of new jobs this year, and he knows that will lead to future growth.

A 50-year old foreign company with established American customers is set to execute a lease for a long empty town-owmed industrial park building that’s been empty for about 15 years. The company has agreed to pay the appraised value of the building — $7.833.33 a month, totaling $188,000 the first two years. The lease will continue for five years with a 3% annual increase beginning in the third year. The company will accept the building “as-is” and pay all utilities, maintenance, insurance and taxes.

Serving the oil and gas industry, the domestic manufacturing and warehouse distribution facility will start with about five jobs with a goal of 10 employees by the end of the year.

“We are getting someone in here, and it’s a start. It’s not sitting empty, and the town is not taking care of the utilities. It’s going to start taking care of itself. It’s been a long time coming.”

“You’ve got to get someone in here, and that’s going to bring more (jobs),” Boutwell said of the town’s 140 acre industrial park with some 30-plus empty parcels of about five acres each. “I keep emphasizing they’re running out of room in the south part of the county; it’s only heading north. I think this is one of many that should, that will come. I honestly feel that.”

An added bonus, he said, is Century’s proximity to both I-10 and I-65.

“That’s one thing that drew them in here. They already have customers here in the United States on the east coast and in the midwest. So we are right in the middle of it for them. We’re 12-14 miles from I-65 and 30 miles from I-10…and we have the rail that runs right through the town — that could help out with the port to our south.”

For more photo, click or tap here.

Boutwell said the town will encourage the company to hire locally.

“This is machine work so people have got to be qualified. Some of it, they said “look if you can work at a grocery store, you’ll be able to work on some of these machines,”,” he said. “And then there’s the warehousing part. They’ll be able to teach you how to do the job.”

Salaries are expected to average $46,570 a year.

“The salaries that are coming in are Pensacola-priced for the town of Century, which is huge.”

The proposed lease with the company includes environmental restrictions, including prohibitions against potentially harmful air and water discharges.

“That’s not going to be an issue at all,” Boutwell said, explaining the company’s manufacturing process. “It’s just like having a waffle iron. You put your ingredients in there. You close it and seal it, and it heats up for a little bit. Whatever residual there is, they can reuse it. So it’s not like they’re going to throw it in a dumpster out back. They can reuse it.”

As for that other really big question — what’s the name of the company?

That’s a secret for now. And that’s not unusual.

Florida law allows economic development discussions to remain private until deals are finalized. That’s to prevent other locales from potentially stealing away businesses, and to keep business competitors in the dark on potential expansion plans.

The deal is being facilitated by the FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance — the economic development organization for Escambia County.

A final building lease with the company is expected to be considered by the Century Town Council in early February.

For more photo, click or tap here. photos, click to enlarge.


6 Responses to “It’s No Secret: Century’s Mayor Says New Industry Will Jump-start Growth”

  1. Century resident on January 25th, 2023 8:13 am

    @ DR every time a story about Century is published some dumb like you has to get on here and make some stupid comment . If you don’t live in Century keep your mouth shut. Nobody wants to here what you have to say. I would also keep your day job because you want make it as a comedian.

  2. Reader on January 24th, 2023 4:41 pm

    DR wrote: “Remind me to run for the mayor of cantonment because if century is big enough, so is cantonment”

    Remind me not to vote for you. Century is a town. Cantonment is not. Educate yourself. Make big promises you can’t keep. Then you can run for office. :)

  3. DR on January 24th, 2023 4:26 pm

    Century has a mayor?
    Remind me to run for the mayor of cantonment because if century is big enough, so is cantonment

  4. Chelleepea on January 24th, 2023 1:59 pm

    Glad to hear leadership identifying our strong points…..our hwy 29 and its connection to I-10 and I-65 is our bread and butter. I absolutely agree we must start small and build up. This is the angle we use to attract more manufacturing businesses. I’m saving the congratulations until the lease is signed….don’t want to jinx it.

  5. gs on January 24th, 2023 1:00 pm

    great job Mayor!

  6. tg on January 23rd, 2023 10:54 am

    Hope Tha Fellas Right.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.