Broxson: North Okaloosa & Alabama must partner for economic growth

Broxson chamber meeting

Florida Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Midway, discusses the county's economic outlook during an Aug. 14 Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Government Issues Committee meeting.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 04:32 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Sometimes, North Okaloosa County is referred to as "L.A," for Lower Alabama, with which we have more in common than the beach resort-oriented south end of the county.

Our proximity to Alabama is ideal for partnering with the neighboring state for economic growth, Florida District 3 Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Midway, says.

Broxson, who represents northern Okaloosa County except for the Crestview city limits, says local economic planning has prepared the region for growth.

"I am extremely excited about North Okaloosa," Broxson said during an Aug. 14 Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Government Issues Committee meeting. "I think we have positioned ourselves to be a big player in the economy."

North Okaloosa County is sufficiently distant from Mobile and Baldwin counties — to which Alabama has attracted industry including a new Airbus plant — but is not in direct competition like neighboring Escambia County.

South Alabama leaders are still smarting over Pensacola International Airport's ability to attract more improvement money than the Mobile airport receives, Broxson said.

"They don't mind a little bit of Santa Rosa, they're not too sensitive about Okaloosa, but they don't want Escambia involved," Broxson said. "We must be smart and leverage ourselves at the table."

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