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Pasco County Office of Economic Growth Manager David Engel briefed the County Commission on the benefits realized from the Economic Incentive program.

DADE CITY – The Pasco Office of Economic Growth reports the county’s economic incentive program is paying off in improving the area’s economic picture.

OEG Manager David Engel gave an update on the program’s achievements since its inception in 2015.

Engel said the projected revenue from the Jobs and Economic Trust Fund have totaled nearly $60 million dollars by the end of the project’s tenth year of existence in 2025.

“The Office of Management and Budgets periodically updates us with collections to make sure we are on track and not over spending the amount of money we have available for this program,” Engel told the Pasco County Commission at its April 8 meeting.

The program has spent $22 million within the last four years, consisting of all the awards which have been granted by the board.

Engel said the encumbrance line totaling $35 million is “a moving target” based upon performance-based moneys which have yet to be paid, additional programs associated with some of the project’s partners, and also “some of the strong pipeline projects we have.”

He presented a chart showing a variety of projects the program has assisted including the job skills program, qualified targeted industries which are moving into the county, and a number of programs that are administered through the private, nonprofit Pasco Economic Development Council.

“When we get to this level, there have been a lot of things happening beforehand,” Engel said. “I consult the Pasco EDC all the time. We do marketing studies, we analyze the applicants, and the dialogue sometimes takes over a year or even two years.”

He emphasized that for every dollar that has been awarded, $10 has come back into the county.

“That is just a snapshot, so it does not even account for the recurring benefits that are realized over time,” Engel said.

He called the Jobs Creation Incentive program “one of our most highly successful programs” returning $30 for every dollar spent.

The report shows since 2011, there have been 1,240 new jobs created within the county with a $140 million impact to the local economy.

Engel called the pipeline projects “robust and growing.”

He said the Master Planned Unit Developments approved by the County Commission, especially along the State Road 54 corridor, are now focusing on their employment centers as the residential and retail areas expand.

“We have hundreds of thousands of square feet of Class A office buildings coming in,” he said.

Engel said his office is currently processing the incentive programs for some of those buildings with a recommendation coming to the board within the next several months.

“We are also working with the Pasco EDC on a 250,000 square foot qualified target industry,” he said.

Engel said he anticipated being before the board with recommendations and updates several times over the next several months.