28 February Clay's Phenomenal Quality of Life Continues to Attract Larger Share of Floridians February 28, 2017 By Laura Pavlus General, News economic development, area growth, quality of life, A Rated Schools, First Coast Expressway, FCX 0 Clay County had a population of almost 191,000 in 2010, but grew by 6.86 percent by 2015, reaching nearly 204,000 residents. To put it in perspective, the average Florida county grew by 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2015. Though Clay’s growth rate is slightly lower than St. Johns, it is still 49% higher than the average Florida county’s growth rate. Click here to view News4Jax - 'Growth Surge in St. Johns County Affects Everyone' - This piece provides an excellent overview of the current growth in St. Johns/NEFL, and what is facing Clay County. As the First Coast Expressway begins construction in 2019, residential growth will likely increase and put even more pressure on Clay’s local road network. Ways to pay the price tag for improving traffic As expected, traffic has been impacted by residential and business growth and highway improvements and additions are underway. One example is State Route 9B -- connecting I-95 to I-295. Another example is in St. Augustine. Commissioners have invested more than a million dollars so far to improve Woodlawn Road. "Residential growth, in particular, brings an elevated level of demand on our infrastructure, our roads, our fire rescue department or Parks and Recreation, and so in St. Johns County, we continually struggle with the revenue question, and we will continue to do that for the next couple of years," explained Ryan. Right now, it takes between $12 million and $14 million each year for road maintenance. To expand roads, the price tag adds $7 to $8 million every year for 10 years. That's $77 million for new and better roads. St. Johns County commissioners are exploring a number of ways to pay for road improvements, which would impact those living in the county and anyone traveling through. Three of those options include: · 1 percent additional bed tax on tourists, which generates $1.5 million · 1 percent sales tax on residents and tourists, which would bring in $23.5 million · A 5-cent per gallon gas tax, which would bring in a projected $5.8 million "It's a challenging time right now," said Dick Williams, a member of St. Johns County's Planning and Zoning agency. "Growth is a double-edged sword. It brings more jobs, more opportunities ... The schools are attractive to people who want to move here ... but growth brings with it development and infrastructure challenges." Related Clay's Defense Sector Continues to Strengthen - Welcome Fleet Readiness Center Southeast! 70+ High-wage defense sector jobs are coming to Wells Road in Orange Park of Clay County Florida. Florida Contractors Want to Hire but Have Found a Tight Labor Market. Clay's Vocational Training Eases Shortfall In recent years, NEFBA has partnered with several schools across the region, mainly in Clay County since their school system has not cut vocational training as deeply as in Duval. The program has 16 instructors and teaches across four construction disciplines: carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing. Clay's Career and Technical Education Program Gives Local Workforce a Competitive Advantage Clay County Schools Celebrate Career and Technical Education Month Students and faculty in Clay County will join others across the nation during the month of February to celebrate national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This year's theme is "Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!" CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country to demonstrate how CTE makes students college- and career- ready and prepares whem for high-wage, high-demand career fields. Activities include: CTE teacher and student recognition, leadership and community service events, school tours and more! Forget Silicon Valley: Build Your Business in the 'Burbs Are big cities the best choice for successful startups? Maybe not. When entrepreneurs jump to New York or the Bay Area, they're overlooking a major candidate: the suburbs. Big cities are alluring, but these quieter regions aren't to be neglected. For many companies, suburbia will make a better fit than a city. Marine Corps and Boeing Resurrect F/A-18 Fighters As the Navy and Marine Corps face dire readiness challenges in their tactical aviation fleets, Boeing is stepping up to add capabilities and longevity to older F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets. The C+ work is being performed at Boeing’s Cecil Field facilities in Jacksonville, Florida. During an exclusive tour of the facilities, Maxwell showed National Defense the first reconstituted aircraft from the boneyard. Leaders Welcome State's Economic Development Chief GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With a focus on bringing more high-paying jobs to Clay County, economic development leaders, business leaders, elected officials and others recently hosted a county tour for the head of Enterprise Florida Inc. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.