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Gadsden County leaders, town and city managers plan to create an economic development strategy

They county is having four meeting to discuss what they want to see when it comes to economic development
Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 17:38:12-04
  • Gadsden County is working on an economic development strategy.
  • Town/ City Managers from neighborhoods came to be a part of the conversation Monday.
  • Watch the video to see what leaders and neighbors want to see.

Leaders working to make Gadsden County a better place for you.

Leaders came together to discuss an economic strategy for all six neighborhoods here in Gadsden County. They discussed what they believed was the counties strengths but also weaknesses.

Better communication with county leaders.

More employment opportunities for neighbors.

"We embrace the priorities for each community."

Some changes town and city managers want to see in Gadsden County.

"The county definitely wants to see conversation with our community leaders."

TJ Lewis is the director of economic development for Gadsden County. He says they partnered with the Apalachee Regional Planning Council to plan an economic development strategy for Gadsden County.

"We're supporting them with their current economic development efforts to try to foster a new economic development strategy with the county as well as to hopefully better align county initiatives with other existing initiatives."

The county was given a $59,000 grant to have meetings with neighbors to talk and plan a economic development strategy.

Here are some things I gathered from Monday’s meeting.

Leaders are wanting to increase tourism in the county and increase population.

But there is one problem… Lewis says the population in Gadsden County is declining.

"When they developed I-10 through North Florida, many of the communities in Gadsden County suffered because most of them are built along highway 90. So, I-10 provided a bypass for many of our Gadsden County communities."

Leaders say the goal is to turn from a declining population to a stable population.

That will involve more housing development, infrastructure in different areas of the county that will allow commercial development along the interchanges.

"Gauging where they are in that process and how to best help them move forward is a really critical part of this project."

A strategy that neighbors could hopefully see changes in the next 5 to 10 years. But leaders believe they are just getting started.

“The ultimate goal is to have a unified vision for economic development in the county.

The next meeting is April 5th. Other meeting dates are shown on your screen.