All about momentum.
The city Ormond Beach is "boosting the momentum" created over the past year, said Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington in a video address at the annual State of the City luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
"We are focused on creating a future that serves our residents," Partington said. "Ormond Beach is safe and comforting and easy to call home. It honors the character of our residents and respects the history that paved the way to our present. It draws us together and prepares us for our future success and because of that, the state of our city is stronger than ever."
The event was attended by the commission, city staff, as well as local business leaders, the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce and other members of the community. The video address highlighted key developments and ongoing efforts by the city, touching on subjects like business retention, the airport business park, and parks and recreation.
Partington spoke about the OB Life series, which he said "redefined" how the city communicates with residents. The initiative was recognized with a Florida Citizenship Award by the Florida League of Cities in June.
“The momentum in Ormond Beach is building," Partington said. "It is created with strategic plans that foster a stronger economy, improved quality of life and healthier environment.”
With the aerospace and aviation industry picking up speed in Volusia, Ormond Beach is trying to position itself to be in a strategic location for future growth in that regard by implementing developments part of its airport master plan, Partington said.
Construction of the Runway 9/27 extension is planned to start this fall, and, once completed, will measure 5,004 feet long. The city was also awarded state appropriations for phase 1 of the airport access roads project, which will connect the airport and business park. Partington said this is meant to open 80 acres for aeronautical development.
Part of the city's primary focus in its economic development strategic plan is retaining and expanding existing business, said City Commissioner Troy Kent in the video. This includes recruiting new jobs and capital investments.
“This translates into high paying jobs, employment opportunities closer to home and improve quality of life in the city," he said.
One example is Security First, which will soon move into its new headquarters at Ormond Crossings. The average annual wage for its employees is $61,000.
Present at the luncheon was Congressman Michael Waltz, who said he'd just touched down on the Halifax River while riding a Super Petrel seaplane. He said Ormond Beach is in "fantastic hands" and that it is well positioned to attract investments with its small-town feel and "big city" amenities.
"I have worked very hard to position myself to be as helpful as possible to all of you," Waltz said. "That’s my job. I take the term ‘we the people’ very seriously.”
Quality of life
In the video, City Commissioner Dwight Selby touched on one of the recent water quality issues: septic to sewer. The city has put forth $1.1 million for the design and permitting of the conversion for 702 homes in the north peninsula, as well as 64 homes within the city.
City Commissioner Rob Littleton said most projects in the parks and recreation master plan have been completed, and the city will draft an update in the coming year. One project which is underway is the creation of a regulation girls softball field in the Sports Complex.
“Ormond Beach really is a beautiful place that we want our residents to be able to enjoy," Littleton said.
City Commissioner Susan Persis spoke about the changes to the downtown made possible by the downtown master plan. This was recently updated. Notable projects in the downtown include the Ike Leary fishing pier and the Cassen Park Floating Dock.
“What makes the city of Ormond Beach is you have a commission who have the heart of a servant," Partington said. "Each of them represent their zones and the city as a whole with all of their capabilities, trying to make Ormond Beach a better place all the time, and then you have a staff, who also has a servant’s heart. They work as hard as they can do to listen to, respond to, and meet the needs of our residents.”