The fastest growing industry in Florida last month was construction. Evidence of that trend can plainly be seen throughout our part of the state. All that construction contributes to job growth in rural communities.
U.S. Highway 129 in Live Oak looks like one huge construction site. Lowe's Home Improvement is building a $12 million store. And Fred's, a southeastern chain store selling everyday items, will be opening soon.
"I think it's really good for our economy. It's going to bring a lot of jobs and opportunities to people in Suwannee County, so I'm really happy about it."
Lowe's could bring as many as 120 new jobs to Live Oak and Fred’s stores typically provide employment for approximately ten thousand people.
"The City of Live Oak, its tax base is about a million dollars a year in taxes with an annual budget of a little over $14 million. This increase in development will add to that tax base."
Farley says the city's goal is to provide the needed economic growth without losing its small town image.