Archived Posts

Polk State College expands services in Northeast Polk at Ridge Community High School

Polk State College expands services in Northeast Polk at Ridge Community High School

Polk State College is expanding its services in Northeast Polk County at Ridge Community High School, where the College will increase its afternoon, evening, and weekend courses for adults seeking Associate in Arts degrees.

Our community and greater Northeast Polk now has access to higher education right in our backyard! Starting on September 17, Polk State classes begin at Ridge Community High.

To read more and for more information, click here.

Haines City Economic Development Council Advocates for Freight and Passenger Rail Industry

Haines City Economic Development Council Advocates for Freight and Passenger Rail Industry

In 2005, the City of Haines City sought to bring new industry and create jobs right in their own backyard. A large area of industrial-zoned land in Haines City presented a unique opportunity to expand and develop already existing infrastructure. Partnering with CSX, a leading supplier of rail-based freight transportation in North America, the city invested in building a new a rail spur. The rail spur now connects Industrial Park Haines City, FL to the main CSX line providing access to a larger transportation network.

The Haines City Economic Development Council (Haines City EDC) works closely with CSX in their partnership on the recruitment of rail served business to Haines City, Florida.  Our goal is to continue the growth of freight railroads on the rail network that connects businesses to the global supply chain.

Advocating and educating for the growth and expansion of railways in and around Haines City is important to the long-term economic infrastructure for Central Florida. Cyndi Jantomaso, Haines City EDC President, believes that “Rail access is a unique feature and added recruitment tool for businesses to come to Haines City.” Partnering with other organizations such as GoRail we are able to educate community leaders about the benefits of freight rail investments and building stronger rail networks.

Learn more about other rail developments:

The Haines City Economic Development Council stays up to date on the passenger rail discussions relating to SunRail’s Phase 2 expansion. There are significant hurdles to the extension of SunRail in Polk County, however, the 2035 Polk County Mobility Vision Plan envisions extending SunRail into Polk County. Stay in the loop: http://sunrail.com/

The newest people mover the Haines City Economic Development Council is following is with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. The private operator of the high-speed rail system moving forward with their own Orlando-to-Miami Hyperloop proposal. Stay in the loop: https://hyperloop-one.com/

A Road to Better Infrastructure

A Road to Better Infrastructure

The Haines City Economic Development Council is spearheading conversation for the future development of a new north/south connector road. The Infrastructure Advisory & Stakeholder Committee hopes to improve road infrastructure and accessibility to Northeast Polk County and Central Florida.

Please contact Cyndi Jantomaso at 863-422-2525 or email cyndi@hainescityedc.com for more information.

Commissioner Horace West Sworn In

Commissioner Horace West Sworn In

Last Thursday Haines City Commissioner Horace West was sworn in for another term. Horace West has been a long-standing member of the Haines City Commision since 2001. Joined by his aunts and proud mother as both of her sons were honored last week. Horace’s brother Morris West became mayor of Haines City as well. Thank you for the continued service of these community leaders!  

Read more about Horace West and Morris West

City Appoints Deputy City Manager

City Appoints Deputy City Manager

HAINES CITY, FL – City Manager Deric C. Feacher is pleased to announce Jeffrey E. Brown as the next Deputy City Manager for Haines City. Jeff is an accomplished administrator with more than twenty years of municipal government experience, most recently serving as City Manager of Panama City.

Brown is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICCMA) and the Florida City/County Management Association (FCCMA). He has served in various roles throughout Polk County during his professional career with organizations such as City Manager for the City of Frostproof, Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Auburndale and a Planner for the Polk County Board of County Commissioners.

“I am extremely pleased we were able to secure his service as we continue to move Haines City Forward,” said City Manager Feacher.

Jeffrey E. Brown obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida and a Master’s from the University of South Florida. Brown’s start date is set for Monday, May 7, 2018 with a salary of $110,000.

About Haines City

Incorporated in 1914, Haines City is nestled in the “Heart of Florida” and is home to more than 23,000 year-round and approximately 48,000 seasonal residents during winter tourist season. Haines City was ranked the number one location for “vacation home deals” and “golf nuts” by CNN Money, second in Florida for cost of living by onlyinyourstate.com, third in the nation for the “Most Affordable Snowbird Destinations” by tripping.com, and third out of the “5 Best Places to Picnic in Polk [County]” by The Ledger. The City set a Guinness World Record for the most sparklers lit simultaneously and is home to the world-class IRONMAN 70.3 Florida, Thunder on the Ridge Fourth of July celebration, Southern Dunes Golf, and Country Club, and located just outside of Orlando’s major theme parks. We found our heartbeat in the “Heart of Florida”…come find yours.

Haines City Police Department names new Deputy Chief of Police

Haines City Police Department names new Deputy Chief of Police

HAINES CITY, FL – A 27-year law enforcement veteran becomes second in command of the Haines City Police Department.

Jerry Connolly, with 18 years of service at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, has worked in nearly every discipline including, but not limited to, homicide, robbery, traffic homicide investigations, special operations, school resource and Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT).

During his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office, Connolly started as a Deputy moving to Homicide Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and named Captain over the Bureau of Colleges & Universities, which included the contracted safety and security of Polk State College and Southeastern University. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Sentinel Program.

“The fact he has worked his way up to the rank of Captain under Sheriff Judd speaks volumes for his integrity and work ethic,” said Haines City Chief of Police Jim Elensky. “Connolly is an accomplished individual who will continue to move Haines City forward in the efforts to make our agency a benchmark in public safety.”

Connolly holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Troy University and a Doctorate in Human Services with a specialization in Criminal Justice. He is also a Certified Public Manager.

 

2018 Economic Summit Success!

2018 Economic Summit Success!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – In conjunction with City of Haines City the Haines City Economic Development Council hosted the 3rd Annual Haines City Economic Summit yesterday. The hot topic of the summit was the growing need for more road infrastructure and alternative methods of transportation. Foward thinking and a high-level conversation took place surrounding repurposing railroads for new shipping methods and the shaping of our national economy. For more highlights read The Ledgers feature on the 2018 Economic Summit

We thank all the guests that joined us for this great conversation and networking opportunity!

Special thank you to all our speaker & panelists!

  • Speaker: Joseph T. Keating, Chief Investment Officer, Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Management for CenterState Bank 
  • Panelist: Aubrey Brown, Manager of Industrial Development, CSX Transportation 
  • Panelist: Keith Robbins, District Freight Coordinator, FDOT District 1 
  • Panelist: Joseph J. Viscusco, Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Growth at Pennoni