Washington City Council: Economic Growth and Infrastructure Updates


The City of Washington is moving ahead economically after action by the City Council Monday night. After receiving a request from Isoflex Packaging, the City Council passed a declaratory resolution establishing an Economic Revitalization Area on Washington’s east side. Isoflex has requested tax abatements for real and personal property at the 70,000-square-foot building being constructed on Waller Drive. Isoflex is spending $24 million to expand its Washington operation and plans to add a sixth and seventh production line, adding another 44 employees to the workforce. There will be a public hearing on the requested 10 year graduated abatement before the City Council’s June 10th meeting. The Council will then consider a resolution confirming the abatements. In other business, the Council approved an ordinance raising the charges on industries discharging stronger than normal sewage into the sewer system. Washington had not raised the industrial surcharge in 17 years and remains on the low end of the scale for comparable cities.

The Council also heard concerns about Haitian drivers. Police Chief Derrick Devine said the WPD is trying to enforce the traffic codes and has doubled the number of citations issued over this time last year, but asked the public to notify police when something is going on. It was also noted that most Haitian drivers have valid driver licenses issued by the State of Florida.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Rhoads reminded everyone of the events coming up in the city.  The mayor said that with school ending, the city pool will be opening.

The mayor also reminded everyone that the next City Council meeting will be moved to Tuesday, May 28th, due to the Memorial Day holiday.

The Board of Public Works and Safety only has three items on its agenda. The Board approved a request from the Catholic Community of Washington for street closures for the annual Summer Social. On Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2nd, NE First from the 1st Baptist parking lot to Hefron Street, NE Second from Hefron to Flora Streets, and Hefron between NE First and NE Second will be closed.

The Board also approved Pay Application #9 for the Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvement Project. Scott Siple of Midwestern Engineers told the Board that the project was substantially complete. The board also approved an application for the sidewalk and curb replacement project. The sidewalk to be replaced is along the golf course, from the driveway west to the property line.