REDI's Catalyst Projects
The Rural Economic Development Initiative
(REDI) facilitates the location of major economic development projects of significant scale in rural communities. REDI's Catalyst Projects
target tomorrow's industries with the goal of creating high value-added jobs, capital investment and an economic ripple throughout each RACEC. Catalyst projects involve a business locating or expanding in a RACEC to serve as an economic generator of regional significance for the growth of a regional target industry cluster. The project must provide capital investment on a scale significant enough to affect the entire region and result in the development of high-wage and high-skill jobs. Each RACEC may designate catalyst projects provided that each catalyst project is specifically recommended by REDI, identified as a catalyst project by Enterprise Florida, Inc., and confirmed as a catalyst project by DEO. Section 288.0656(7)(c), F.S., authorizes all state agencies and departments to use all available tools and resources to the extent permissible by law to promote the creation and development of each catalyst project and the development of catalyst sites.
Currently, there are four identified catalyst sites that are located in Calhoun, Columbia, Suwannee and Highlands Counties.
The North Central RACEC region has identified two sites as the region is comprised of 14 counties and is twice as large as the other two RACEC regions. These sites are a parcel or parcels of land within a RACEC region that have been prioritized as geographic sites for economic development through partnerships with state, regional and local organizations.
Calhoun County Catalyst Site
Calhoun County, in conjunction with the City of Blountstown, the Town of Altha and the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce prepared a conceptual site plan for the Calhoun County Catalyst Site
. The county is working with Preble-Rish (PRI) and reports the following accomplishments:
- Prepared an overview of the hydraulic water model of the Catalyst Site and city's water systems.
- Prepared the Catalyst Site Utility Master Plan Report, which identifies all the needed utility improvements to support the development.
- PRI has completed 100 percent of the design and construction drawings and permit applications.
- All permit applications have been submitted and all permits and Notices of Intent have been received.
- A funding meeting was held to discuss potential funding sources for the proposed improvements.
- $300,000 has been identified to begin construction of building-ready sites in Fall 2012 on Lots 1 and 2, consisting of grading and drainage improvements with existing utilities sufficient to serve these lots.
As more funding becomes available the remaining elements of the project will be constructed.