Century CRA Has Collected $58K To Improved ‘Blighted’ Area

June 30, 2022

The Century Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) now has just over $58,000 in the bank and will soon begin to consider potential projects to improve blighted areas of the town.

The five members of the Century Town Council currently sit as the CRA board. At the council’s next meeting, they are expected to appoint two citizens as additional members of the CRA board.

In October 2018, the council approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for their redevelopment area, allowing the CRA to receive property tax revenues each year in excess of an established base rate. The appraised value of the property within the designated district was “frozen” in 2018, with that amount of tax revenue generated still designated for the town’s general fund, the county and other taxing authorities.

The redevelopment area receives  95 percent of the property tax generated in excess of the frozen base value as property values rise. Along with small interest earnings, CRA had a balance of $58,010.10 on May 31, 2022.

The CRA funds will be used to improve conditions in the 510 acres bounded by Jefferson Avenue to the south, Jefferson Avenue to the east, East High 4 to the north and the center line of North Century Boulevard to the west. It also extends north on the east side of North Century Boulevard to include commercial properties up to, and including, the former Burger King (see map below).

Tax Increment Financing is a unique tool available to cities and counties for redevelopment activities. It is used to leverage public funds to promote private sector activities in the targeted redevelopment area. Property owners in the CRA pay the same tax rate as those in the remainder of the town.

TIF revenue can be used on a “pay as you go” basis, where the annual stream of revenue is used to fund small projects, or used to pay debt service costs over the life of a project lasting 10 or more years. Historically in Florida, TIF has been effective at generating large amounts of funding for capital investments for roadway improvements, flood control programs, water and sewer and drainage infrastructure improvements, parking lots and garages, neighborhood parks, sidewalks, street and sidewalk tree plantings, signs and building construction.

After a February 2016 tornado damaged or destroyed 40 homes and businesses, the town looked to address the long-term effects on the community of a downturn in economic development. That led to the redevelopment area.

The CRA plan sets a roadmap for future development and spending to eliminate existing conditions of blight and to encourage continued private investment. The plan also provides a framework for coordinating and facilitating public and private redevelopment within the area.

Pictured: The Century CRA held a workshop meeting this week. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge. Pictured below: The Century CRA boundary map, click to enlarge.

Here Are Fireworks Shows And Events In The North Escambia Area

June 30, 2022

Here’s a schedule of public fireworks shows in the North Escambia area this year.

Friday, July 1

  • Fireworks show at Showalter Park in Century. Food trucks and vendors beginning at 6 p.m, with fireworks after dark.

Saturday, July 2

  • Freedom Fest at Woodbine Baptist Church, 4912 Woodbine Road in Pace from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free family-friendly event featuring food trucks, bounce houses, horse and pony rides, water slides, face painting, a charitable silent auction and more. Restrooms, handwashing stations, and tent-covered tables will be available.

Monday, July 4

  • Sertoma’s 4th of July Fireworks show and celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. with live music and food trucks in Seville Square. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a fireworks show over the bay beginning at 9 p.m. The fireworks show will be synchronized to music on Cat Country 98.7. (You’ll need an actual radio for correct timing. Any app will be delayed by several seconds.)
  • Symphony Sparks & Stars is free at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hunter Amphitheater and will be live streamed on the stadium video board. The Sertoma fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. Concessions available (no outside food). Bring a blanket.
  • Pensacola Beach Fireworks at 8:30 p.m. along the boardwalk on the sound side.
  • July 4th Riverfest on Willing Street from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in historic downtown Milton. This family-friendly event features the Firecracker Motorcycle Show, a car show, food vendors, retail vendors, a children’s activity area, live entertainment, and the Great Milltown Duck Race. The night will end with a fireworks display over the Blackwater River at dark.
  • Wind Creek Atmore fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Watch from the amphitheater or the surrounding area.

Note: There will be no fireworks show in Jay this year as Bray-Hendricks park closes for renovations and upgrades.