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Sebastian Mayor proposes economic workshop

SEBASTIAN — With an eye to the future, Sebastian Mayor Richard Gillmor has proposed the council participate in a workshop to address economic issues within the city.

“There are probably some things that we can do that will put Sebastian on a course that will have us leading the recovery instead of dragging behind,” Gillmor said at the council’s last meeting.

Gillmor explained that Vice Mayor Jim Hill has brought up the need to keep the focus on economic development. He added that he would like the council to discuss what items it could ask City Manager Al Minner to “help implement our vision of economic development here in Sebastian.” “There is no magic pill that will fix our economy,” Gillmor also said. “The tax abatement question that we put on the ballot I think is one thing that will assist us in getting economic development, having business think twice, and then think again, about relocating here to Sebastian.”

“We are in competition with other cities up and down the coast,” the mayor said. “This is a wonderful place to live, to own a business, run a business, or start a business.”

Vice Mayor Hill concurred with Gillmor.

“As you drive out 512, the county has done a pretty good job of putting a beautiful corridor all the way out to 95,” Hill said. “As you drive, and leave the city limits, which are essentially 510, there’s a tremendous amount of potential commercial property that’s in unincorporated Indian River County.”

“I think the city needs to look into meeting with these property owners and start discussing the possibility of annexation,” he added.

Hill noted that he was not referring to any residential property, and emphasized that as a city government, council should begin the process of looking into annexation because the impact will be felt from the development of those properties on the city. Thus, the impact of their taxes should also be felt.

“I think we should start looking at the possibility of annexing the property and at least get the discussion going. I would like to task our city manager with starting things going,” said Hill.

“I’d like to see us go forward with a workshop idea,” said Councilwoman Andrea Coy.

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