TAVARES — Lake County Manager David Heath, announced this week the creation of the new Economic Growth Department, which combines the functions of the former departments of Growth Management and Economic Development & Tourism.
The Economic Growth Department will not only assist residents with site plan review, zoning requests and permitting, but will also enable businesses wanting to start, expand or relocate within Lake County to work through the process in one integrated department – from concept, through the zoning and permitting process, to workforce recruitment needs.
“A primary focus for Lake County government is fostering a business-friendly environment,” said Heath. “We continually explore ways to simplify the governmental process with respect to private-sector job creation, to find efficiencies within the organization, and promote positive customer service experiences.”
The Lake County Commission adopted its Economic Development Action Plan nearly four years ago. The plan outlines nine key goals related to economic development, with a vision of creating in Lake County “a prosperous local economy supported by a wide range of career opportunities, a diversified tax base, and an exceptional quality of life.”
“The model for combining both Economic Development and Growth Management makes sense, and is being used in proactive communities looking to support business growth,” added Heath. “We are seeing signs that the economy in Lake County is on the rise, and it is important to ensure that as development continues, it is being well-planned, and promotes business and industry expansion.”
Heath has tapped the former director of Lake County’s Economic Development & Tourism Department, Robert L. Chandler IV, to lead the new Economic Growth Department.
“Robert is a tremendous asset to our organization, and has a proven track-record of leadership both within the community and within the metro Orlando region,” said County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner, who also serves on the Metro Orlando EDC Commission. “I am confident that he will lead the Economic Growth Department effectively in carrying out the mission, goals and objectives set by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.”
As part of the rollout of the new department, starting Monday, March 2, the former Economic Development & Tourism staff will relocate to the fifth floor of the Lake County Administration Building, 315 W. Main St., Tavares, in space being vacated by the Community Services Department. The Community Services Department staff, in-turn, will relocate to suite 233 within the Administration Building.
For information on starting, relocating or expanding a business in Lake County, call Lake County’s Economic Growth Department at 352-742-3918 or visit www.BusinessInLakeFL.com.