Utility lease plan saves 400-seat restaurant


It wouldn’t have been possible under up-front utility connection fees, but under a lease plan approved by commissioners Monday, a 400-seat restaurant on SR 16, expected to employ 200, can move forward.

Chief Operations Officer John Regan told commissioners the franchise restaurant faced $454,000 in connection fees, necessary to secure its usage into the future.

But a pay-as-you-go system, with a $23,000 up-front connection fee and additional costs added to monthly service charges, makes the project feasible.

Leasing rather than up-front payment of water and sewer connections for businesses that create more than 100 new jobs would provide “long term benefits in assisting with economic development.”

The concept, presented to commissioners Monday night, has been developed with an eye toward the recently-formed strategic plan between the city, county and West Augustine.

“The plan also fits well into our strategic plan for West Augustine,” Regan said, “where one plank is to find alternate funding for development.”

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