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Baker Expecting Massive Growth Due to The Increase of The Jacksonville Port

 

The Baker County Standard· April 10, 2008

George Duncan Editor .

 

Because of its key geographic condition - close to the expansion of the port in Jacksonville ­Baker County may take off economically in the next three to five years, according to Darrel Register, head of the Baker County Chamber of Commerce.

"We already have two compa­nies, private companies, working on large industrial projects, one at the eastern end of the county end of the county," said Register.

However, the current port expansion in Jacksonville will allow more goods and items to flow into Jacksonville, but they will also have to be moved to other parts of the county. Storage and other facilities are needed to support the port.

"And when you look at northeast Florida, it's hard to see any

open, available land except in Baker County. We have 1-10, we're close to 1-75, and the rail­road. Because of the port, Baker County stands to benefit greatly. Eventually, the port of Jacksonville will end up being the third largest on the east coast," he said.

Most of Duval County is already build up and south of Duval are counties are also heavily populated, such as Clay County and St. Johns County. If you go north, you leave the state, so the flow will come naturally to Baker County. There is no place 'for the industries to go besides west."

Both the city of Macclenny and Baker County have planned the expansive growth, he said.

"Both the county commission and the city commission have prepared well for this. They've done the master transportation

study and new where the new roads need to be and where the corridors need to be set aside. "They are already working with developers on different locations to build water and sewer facilities that can be expanded and be able to serve large areas of the county, both commercial and residential users."

Another plus is the county is connected to an air corridor.

"We are 30 minutes from a large regional airport," Register said. Baker County Manager Jim Cone agreed, saying the county is situated in an ideal place for economic growth.

"Baker County has been a low­growth area but circumstances are changing. Jacksonville could be the biggest port in the east after the expansion. The traffic from the port can't south or east. The south is built up. So the only place to go is west," he said.


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