3 Key Takeaways from Volusia's State of County

3 Key Takeaways from Volusia's State of County

2018 was an exciting year for economic growth in the Greater Daytona Region—and fueled by the last 12 months’ momentum, 2019 is set to see even more movement across the board. 

Volusia’s State of the County Address, held on January 15th, offered residents and businesses alike a promising look at where the county stands—and how it can look forward to growing in the year ahead. Read on to learn three key takeaways from the annual address.

Past projects will propel future growth

As we look ahead toward the rest of 2019, the State of the County Address reminds us of last year’s projects—and how they set a positive precedent for future development.

When it comes to travel, for example, the Daytona Beach International Airport saw a 5.3 percent increase in passenger traffic through November. Two new airlines were announced last year, too—Sunwing with flights to Toronto, and Silver with flights to Fort Lauderdale. The address also paid attention to projects such as the new Hard Rock Hotel, which opened in 2018, and the development of One Daytona which will continue to have a positive impact on the local economy as we progress into 2019.

There’s more to come

Of course, the county is not taking a break yet. After a successful year, new projects are underway that will help maintain the momentum.

These include economic developments, such as the County Council decision to approve a 20 percent match of performance-based incentives for B. Braun and Mystic Boats. The proposed plans for a second B. Braun facility would bring the county another $100 million, with 200 jobs at 125 percent of the area’s annual average wage. The Mystic Powerboats’ manufacturing plant expansion is projected to add 70 new jobs at 115 percent of the annual average wage.

There are exciting projects underway at the airport, too. These include terminal renovations with a new modern design, upgraded terminal parking lot and more.

As far as infrastructure goes, Turnbull Bay Bridge will be completed early this year, at 440 feet longer and 20 feet wider than its previous size. The Tom Staed Veterans Memorial Bridge is also slated to be completed, and will feature Florida’s first concrete archway design, with fishing piers on either side of the river and scenic overlooks that make the bridge both functional and welcoming for sightseers.

A public-private partnership will help to expand West Park Avenue in Edgewater—slated to be completed in October of 2019, it will help foster economic development and access to the area. Meanwhile, public bus routes have been expanded in both Deltona and New Smyrna Beach.

For a long-term look ahead, the county has also received a $45,000 state grant to research the commercial space industry’s growth potential within the region.

Caring is still key

Throughout the address, emphasis was placed on the importance of caring—for the environment and all members of the community.

“Caring is at the heart of every decision,” the County Council makes, said County Chair Ed Kelley. A Caring and Thriving Community was actually the theme of this year’s address, and it shows in the type of accomplishments that have been made (and continue to be made) in the region.

The Volusia County Community Assistance Division spent $1.7 in homelessness prevention programs in 2018, for example. The county’s public sector employees also participated in the annual “Feed the Need” food drive, collecting more than 770,000 pounds of food for local agencies. 

The region is also caring for the environment. In 2018, new sea creature mascots were introduced to emphasize a clean-beach message. Free rash bags have been available so that visitors can help keep their shorelines clean, while two boats—the Everglades and Lady Philomena were tugged out to sea and sunk to serve as artificial reef structure, improving fishing and diving. All of these environmental endeavors help to keep the region’s pristine waterways and recreation destinations functional and beautiful—an essential part of future economic development.  

To keep up with exciting economic developments as they happen, be sure to stay tuned to Team Volusia as we cover them—as well as regional and national trends worth knowing in the months ahead! And as always, for specific resources and information about expanding in the Greater Daytona Region, we are here to help with whatever you may need.

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