EDC eyes 2,000 new local jobs

EDC rasmussen grandberry

Economic Development Council interim President Kay Rasmussen on Monday presented a plaque of appreciation to Councilman Tim Grandberry, who served as Crestview's EDC representative for five years. "Lives were changed because of your commitment," Rasmussen told the outgoing city council member.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 05:28 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Four Crestview area projects have been added to the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council's roster since the year began. If they — and two existing projects — come to fruition, nearly 2,000 jobs would be added to local payrolls.

EDC interim President Kay Rasmussen presented the news during her quarterly report to the Crestview City Council Monday evening.

Another often-discussed project, "Project Qwest II," has moved to the "pending" stage, Rasmussen said. The $1.5 million local investment would add 100 jobs to the area at a new 100,000-square-foot facility set for Crestview Bob Sikes Airport. The average wage would be $42,000, according to materials distributed by Rasmussen. Under state law, economic development councils are prohibited from disclosing client companies' names. Disclosure during negotiations could ruin local advantage if another community offers the company a better relocation incentives package, Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said she recently attended an economic development conference in Washington, D.C., during which she discussed with federal officials ways to implement three projects that would promote business growth in the Crestview area.

These include construction of Foy Shaw Industrial Parkway, a route providing direct access from U.S. Highway 90 to Bob Sikes Airport. Currently, airport users and workers must use neighborhood streets to reach the airport from the south.

Other projects Rasmussen discussed in Washington were paving Fairchild Road between L3 Crestview Aerospace and Airport Road, which would ease employee and vendor access to the north county's largest employer, and ways of funding the family arts and sports complex proposed for Crestview.

Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.

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