A $13.95 million bond issue will go to market this week to partially fund the Atlanta Braves spring training facility in North Port. The bonds, issued by the West Villages Improvement District, are the first of two planned debt offerings by the district to pay for the $99.7 million project, according to a Dec. 5 preliminary bond document. The document also details how the Braves and local governments will split the cost.
While public funding for professional sports stadiums is increasingly unpopular, a study in June showed the Braves' spring training facilities would have a $1.7 billion economic impact on the surrounding area over the 30-year term of its lease. Some critics say economic studies are overblown because they assume those dollars wouldn’t have been spent on other local events and venues.
The first bond issue from West Villages Improvement District will sell this week, a Dec. 7 report from Moody’s Investors Services said. Moody's rated the bonds Aa2, a high investment grade rating. A dedicated sales tax revenue pledge from the state of Florida backs the bonds, and “the strength of the pledged revenue stream is balanced against relatively weak legal provisions, including a lack of a debt service reserve fund,” Moody’s said.
Ever wondered about the history of various buildings and sites in Venice? If so, there are some tours that might just be of interest to you.
Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Venice
Next Date: 12/09/2017, 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Location: Michael Biehl Park, 100 Tampa Ave W, Venice, FL 34285, USA
Guided walking tour in Downtown Venice. On the tour, they will give you background on the history of Venice and various buildings. The walk is approximately 1 mile and takes 1 1/2 hours. For more detail, visit Facebook.com/VeniceFloridaTours. Price is $15 per person. Reservations Required. To sign up, email VeniceFloridaTours@yahoo.com or call Tiffany at 817-793-8433.
1927 Historic Train Depot Tours
Next Date: 12/09/2017 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10 am - 3 pm (November 1 - May 31)
Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm (year-round)
Holiday Tree Lighting
Date: 12/09/2017, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: West Blalock Park, 401-499 Pensacola Rd, Venice, FL 34285, USA
Formal lighting event is 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 in West Blalock Park, across from the Triangle Inn (Venice Museum & Archives). The park will be lighted nightly through Jan. 1, 2018, dusk until 10 p.m. Christmas tree lighting with Mayor John Holic
Presented by Venice Beautification Inc.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas Movie in the Park at Centennial Park from 7p-9p, too!!!
City Listed Among Top 10 in the 2017 Digital Cities Survey
The City of North Port placed among the top 10 cities for its population category in the "Center for Digital Government’s National 2017 Digital Cities Survey." Now in its 17th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement. The City of North Port placed ninth in its population category of 75,000 or below.
“This year’s leading digital cities are leveraging technology to connect disadvantaged citizens with critical information and services, promote citizen inclusion in important government processes and share government data with the public,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens can now meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history. Congratulations to the winners!”
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education. The survey honors cities in five population classifications: 500,000 or more, 250,000 to 499,999; 125,000 to 249,999; 75,000 to 124,999 and fewer than 75,000.
This is the sixth year that the City has been recognized in the top 10 for its population size. The City of North Port is working continuously to implement new technology to further connect and engage residents in their local government. The City offers a mobile application for residents to report concerns, a robust social media communication strategy, several GIS-based interactive maps, and more.
From http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20171129/builders-hire-8-more-in-area Southwest Florida’s labor-parched construction industry added 2,100 jobs in October, an 8% growth rate that was one of the best in the state. The Sarasota-Manatee and Charlotte County metro areas were among 243 out of 358 nationwide where construction employment rose over the year, the Associated General Contractors of America reported Wednesday. Construction employment increased by 1,700 jobs, or 8 percent, last month in Sarasota-Manatee, while Charlotte County added 400 jobs for a jump of 10 percent.
Charlotte ranked 27th nationwide for percentage growth while Sarasota-Manatee came in at 54th. A total of 28,800 workers were counted in the construction trades in the three counties, the contractors’ group said. The combined 8% increase tied for sixth highest among the state’s 23 metro regions.
Florida ranked seventh in the U.S. with 7.4 percent growth in construction employment, adding 35,800 jobs.
Nationwide, construction employment grew by 2.8 percent, or 187,000 jobs, over the year, the trade organization said. “Growing demand, especially from the private sector, is continuing to drive construction employment gains in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The tax reform proposals now being debated in Washington can do even more to help ensure that metro areas will continue to add new construction jobs.”
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region posted the state’s highest number of job gains with 5,400 over the year. Cape Coral-Fort Myers recorded the state’s only decline, down 1,900 jobs, or 7 percent, AGC said.
The construction workforce in Sarasota-Manatee peaked at 31,800 in April 2006 but plunged to 14,900 in 2011 during the economic downturn, when projects stalled and building all but ceased, forcing workers to find other ways to earn a living.
Even with a steadily rising labor force, residential and commercial builders here say they still struggle to find enough workers for their projects. The labor shortage has affected construction in the area for some time, slowing some large-scale developments by months. Many of the subcontractors who perform most of the labor at constructions sites — from carpenters to plumbers to drywall installers — say they cannot find the manpower to handle the surge of homes, condominiums, apartments, hotels and retail projects under way or planned.