Florida Hospital Flagler invited Mayor Holland to speak to crowd of 150 on June 29.
In the past five years, the city of Palm Coast's population has grown by 14.8%, which is more than double the national growth rate. Also, the number of jobs in the city has grown by more than 11,000 in five years. Those were among the statistics shared by Mayor Milissa Holland to the crowd of about 150 who packed the Florida Hospital Flagler Education Center to hear her speak on June 29.
Shopping local is one key to improving a local economy and infrastructure, according to Holland.
Palm Coast generates about $3.6 million a year in sales tax, she said.
"Every time you shop in Palm Coast, the dollars stay here," Holland said. "They go right into a revenue stream, and we're able to build capital projects with that and offset your tax dollars."
The fuel tax generated in Palm Coast goes entirely into the maintenance of the roadways, Holland noted.
Holland hopes local residents will become shop-local ambassadors who spread the word of why this is critical to the Palm Coast economy.
Holland also highlighted the city's new summer internship program. The program features 17 Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High School graduates (out of 300 applicants), who are roaming City Hall on a daily basis to learn the inner workings of the local government.
"[The interns] have just been a godsend to our system for the summer," Holland said. "They're integrating a lot of principles they’re learning from their higher learning institutions and applying them to our local government."
The city wants the program to engage the next generation of leaders by giving them the skills to make a difference in Palm Coast, Holland said.
What's to come?
With James F. Holland Memorial Park open at last, the city has more projects in the works.
- There is ongoing construction at the Palm Coast Community Center to triple its size, all of which is being paid for through sales tax dollars. Holland expects completion of this in the next year.
- The Seminole Woods path is near completion.
- Chipotle is coming to town, near Panera Bread on State Road 100.
- Another Starbucks, this one including a drive-thru, is being establishing near ALDI on State Road 100 in Bunnell.
- Wawa is approved to come to Bulldog Drive near Flagler Palm Coast High School.