STUART — Indiantown moved closer to obtaining state Enterprise Zone status on Tuesday when the Martin County Commission approved a boundary and appointed 13 people to the zone's development agency.
The boundary includes 9.66 square miles, generally covering the Indiantown urban service district and Community Redevelopment Area.
The commissioners also appointed David Powers, chairman of the board of the Indiantown/Western Martin County Chamber of Commerce, to be chairman of the development agency and Miguel Juan Gaspar, of Indiantown Realty Corp., to be vice chairman.
The next step is for the development agency to meet on Aug. 10 to start formulating the Enterprise Zone Development Plan and Strategic Plan, as required by state regulations.
Those plans are expected to be formulated by Oct. 12, county records show. There will also be two public hearings before the commissioners submit the application to Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development agency.
Establishing the boundary, appointing the committee and formulating the plans are part of the application process, said Kate Parmelee, the county's intergovernmental and grants coordinator. If the state approves, Indiantown would be Florida's 60th Enterprise Zone.
That designation will make Indiantown more attractive to companies considering relocating in Florida, Parmelee said. The designation enables the County Commission to offer a variety of incentives.
"Indiantown is often not even included on the list of companies who are exploring relocating because one of the criterias the companies will look for is the presence of an Enterprise Zone," Parmelee said.
Among the Enterprise Zone Development Agency's tasks is to recommend ways the County Commission could remove regulatory barriers that hinder economic development in Indiantown, county officials said.
The agency must operate under the state's open public meetings and open public records laws, county officials said.
Indiantown qualified for consideration as an Enterprise Zone because of its economic distress, county officials said.
Only eight permits for new commercial structures have been issued in Indiantown since 1992, county records show.
It would cost $202.8 million to construct all the stormwater drainage and water and sewer utility facilities needed in Indiantown, or $680 million if carried out in stages with borrowed money, county records show.
Population in 2000: 7,933
Population in 2010: 6,990
Decrease: 943, or about 12 percent
Median household income
Martin County: $52,734
Poverty rate in 2009
Indiantown: 36.7 percent
Martin County: 10.6 percent
Florida: 13.2 percent
Enterprise Zone Development Agency members (13)
The Enterprise Zone Development Plan and Strategic Planning meetings are at 6 p.m. at the Indiantown Civic Center on Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.
Chamber of commerce: David Powers, chairman of board, Indiantown/Western Martin County Chamber of Commerce
Financial or insurance entity: Thomas Schinske, vice president, Branch Banking and Trust
Local businesses: Scott Watson, owner, Indiantown Marina
Resident: Ben Smith, teacher in DeKalb County Schools and Booker Park resident
Nonprofit community-based organization: Donna Carman, executive director of Indiantown Non-Profit Housing Inc.
Workforce Development Board: Richard Stetson, president/CEO Workforce Solutions
Code Enforcement Agency: Larry Massing, Martin County Building official
Law Enforcement: Lloyd Jones, Martin County Sheriff’s Office captain
Miguel Juan Gaspar, teacher, Martin County School District; and Indiantown Realty Corp.
Guy Parker, construction manager from Indianwood
David Shelton, retirement planning counselor from Indianwood
William Hannah, longtime utility official with Indiantown Co.
Mitch Hutchcraft, vice president, King Ranch/Consolidated Citrus