DeLand, FL - Space flight, infrastructure, EMS efforts and the future of Volusia were the hot topics on the minds of county leaders yesterday (February 11th) during their annual State of the County address.
According to county leaders, Volusia, along with stakeholders, chambers of commerce and job creation partners intensified their efforts to lay the groundwork to bring aerospace industry businesses to the county.
Those efforts reportedly included strategy sessions with Space Florida – the state's aerospace economic development agency – and a study to help identify trends in the global space economy.
Also discussed was the county's adopted operating budget throughout fiscal 2019-2020, which totaled over $809.6 million for 60 funds. A breakdown shows that public safety had the largest share of the budget with almost 30% – 29.7% or around $242.88 million. About 14% went to community service departments which include public libraries, veterans services, ECHO and Votran.
Public Works also received a sizeable chunk of the county's budget with a share of 26.7%, which is about $216 million.
Leaders also shared updates and progress on different types of projects that were either completed or in progress around the county.
County Chair Ed Kelley talked about the soon-to-be-opened Veterans Memorial Bridge in Daytona Beach, saying that if he could get a ride over it now, he would video it so the county can see. Kelley also made mention of improvement projects concerning 10th Street in New Symrna Beach, Williamson Boulevard in Daytona and Howland Boulevard in Deltona.
"And soon, construction will begin on a new medical examiner's facility and the northeast Volusia Public Works facility," said Kelley.
He also made mention of the predicted population of Volusia County, saying that it's projected to be over 550,000 residents. If that's true, it would be a jump of about 11% over the 494,000~ reported in the 2010 Census.
Following the close of his time behind the mic, the audience stood and applauded Kelley, seeing as this State of the County address would be his last, as he's decided to no longer run for reelection.