Now that the 2017 session has come to a close and the Florida Legislature has passed the Gulf Coast Economic Corridor Act, it is time for our community to focus on projects that will diversify and expand our economy. The initial payment of $300 million will be transferred from the state to the Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors on June 30th and, after seven years, the board will finally be able to get to work.
As of October 2016, over $162 million has been dedicated to Escambia County for oil-spill restoration. The vast majority of this money has been spent or dedicated to environmental restoration projects. We applaud the organizations and agencies that have been involved with securing these dollars and making sure our environmental assets are restored.
But now is the time to fully restore and diversify our economy with economic development projects that will benefit our children and grandchildren. To assist with this effort, the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce will hold a series of public workshops to engage, educate, and inform the business community and public about the opportunity that Triumph Gulf Coast will provide Northwest Florida and help promote worthy projects to be considered by the Triumph Gulf Coast Board. As a part of the workshops, the Chamber can provide assistance to individuals or groups that want to submit projects.
The Chamber encourages all community stakeholders to participate in this process so we can stand together as a community and secure projects that will make a real difference for Escambia County for generations to come.
Justin Beck is the President of Beck Partners and the Chairman of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s Policy Committee. Beck resides in Pensacola.
Credit: Pensacola News Journal