Chief Operations Officer John Regan reported to Historic City News that Monday night he will present an innovative utility program to the St. Augustine City Commission at their regular meeting.
This plan, which was discussed at the last commission meeting, would be presented for a second reading and public comment, and then, if approved, offered to qualified new businesses creating more than 100 jobs; allowing them to spread “up-front costs” of utility connections over time.
“A 400-seat restaurant on SR 16 that is expected to employ 200 people could move forward under this plan”, Regan told the commissioners. The franchise restaurant faced $454,000 in connection fees “up-front” which was not financially feasible.
Under this pay-as-you-go proposal, with a $23,000 up-front connection fee and additional costs added to the restaurant’s monthly service charges, the deal may be back on the front burner.
Regan said, “This fits well into our strategic plan for West Augustine, where one plank is to find alternate funding for development.”
Public hearings will also be held on a sign code change; aimed in part at prohibiting changeable message boards.