Emerald Coast RC Assists in Securing $22 Million in Federal Funds
On July 18, 2019, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Economic Development Administration, Dr. John Fleming, joined the Emerald Coast Regional Council, the City of Pensacola, and Port Panama City to announce the award of more than $22 million in federal funding. The City of Pensacola was awarded $12.2 million for the construction of a 173,000 sq. ft., maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hanger. Construction costs for this project are an estimated $49 million. When fully operational ST Engineering Aerospace anticipates creating 400 new high paying jobs in the aviation and aerospace industry. This hanger (known as Hangar 2) is one of 4 hangars anticipated to be built at the Pensacola International Airport.
The Panama City Port project was awarded $10 million for the construction of a biomass storage facility with the capacity to store 20,000 tons of biomass products. The creation of additional capacity will allow Enviva Partners, LP. to increase its bulk cargo exporting capabilities by 200,000 tons per year and generate an estimated $50 million in new export activity per year. The increase in export capabilities will result in the expansion of Enviva’s Cottondale Plant, in Cottondale, Florida (Jackson County). The project serves to diversify the employment base in Bay and Jackson counties, by providing its citizens an opportunity to move beyond poverty and low-wage jobs by creating 172 new jobs.
The announcements took place at the Pensacola International Airport and the Panama City Port in Panama City. The City of Pensacola and the Panama City Port Authority partnered with the Emerald Coast RC, who initially informed the entities of funding availability and subsequently provided the proposal submission services for both grants; as well as providing grant management services and ongoing support. These awards highlight the hard work and dedication of the Emerald Coast RC and the importance of regional planning councils and economic development districts. In attendance, were the EDA Atlanta Regional Director Phil Paradice, EDA Florida State Representative Greg Vaday, Emerald Coast RC Chief Executive Officer Austin Mount as well as representatives from ST Engineering Aerospace and Enviva Partners, LP.
East Central Florida RPC Establishes Regional Resilience Collaborative
The East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative was established on May 15, 2019 by unanimous vote on a Memorandum of Understanding by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council. The Collaborative developed and identified three pillars under the resilience umbrella: Health + Equity (people), Built Infrastructure + Natural Environment (places), Economic Resilience (prosperity). Woven throughout those pillars are goals that include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, identifying risks and vulnerabilities and an development of additional sustainability goals throughout the region. The memorandum embodies the framework and lays the foundation for structure and partnership creating a unified vision toward a more resilient region. Throughout the summer, the Collaborative will continue to build capacity and form partnerships. Formalized agreements have already been established with Orange and Volusia Counties, the City of Titusville, the City of Satellite Beach, the City of Rockledge and the City of Indian Harbour Beach. An official signing ceremony will be scheduled in the fall.
In June, the Regional Planning Council, the Collaborative and Steve Adams from the Institute for Sustainable Communities, conducted two workshops in the eight-county, 78-city region to engage and inform local staff on the collaborative progress, the national state of the art perspective, benefits and outcomes. True to workshop form, exercises included prioritizing topic areas, identifying tools, assets and gaps to address prioritized areas and, based on those results, what services and outcomes should advance. The workshop results will provide the foundation for a collaborative strategic plan. unified vision toward a more resilient region. Throughout the summer, the Collaborative will continue to build capacity and form partnerships. Formalized agreements have already been established with Orange and Volusia Counties, the City of Titusville, the City of Satellite Beach, the City of Rockledge and the City of Indian Harbour Beach. An official signing ceremony will be scheduled in the fall.
For additional information on the East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative please visit the website at https://www.ecfrpc.org/resiliencecollaborative.