The Flagler County Commission’s approval Monday of an incentive package for a high-tech firm that plans to locate its headquarters here and create 100 jobs left everyone feeling lighter than air.
The Flagler County Commission’s approval Monday of an incentive package for a high-tech firm that plans to locate its headquarters here and create 100 jobs left everyone feeling lighter than air. The $50,000 incentive for Coastal Cloud owned by Tim and Sara Hale was unanimously approved.
“I think this particular cloud will have a silver lining for Flagler County,” said Commissioner Charlie Ericksen. The Hales, who also own an information technology consulting firm named Graphene, made a presentation Feb. 6 to the Flagler County Economic Opportunity Advisory Council seeking local incentives for the project, which includes building a 30,000-square-foot facility in Flagler Beach.
“We’ve got the motto,” said Sara Hale, who was at the meeting. “Live at the beach, work in the cloud.”
She said the company helps clients find the right technology to improve business results. The incentive money is performance-based and won’t be doled out until Coastal Cloud makes good on its claim to create jobs in Flagler County, which had a jobless rate of 11.2 percent in December. “They have to prove the performance before they get the grant,” said Helga van Eckert, executive director at the county’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
Bunnell resident Mark Langello praised the efforts that went into bringing the company to Flagler County. “This is exactly what I like to see my money being spent on,” he said. “The results will be tenfold.” Gary Lubi, chairman of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce and Affiliates, called giving the incentive package to the Coastal Cloud a no-brainer.
“This is a great opportunity,” he said. “And I believe it will have a domino effect here.”
The company was approved by state officials for a Qualified Target Industry incentive of $548,800 tied directly to job creation, contingent on commissioners approving a local incentive of $500 per job created, paid out over a period of four years.
Coastal Cloud will bring the type of jobs most needed in Flagler County, said resident Howard Holley.
“It isn’t just jobs; it’s diversity of jobs,” he said. “Families want jobs to come to the county that their children can aspire to, and I think this is it.” The County Commission also voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to put a traffic signal at the U.S. 1 entrance to Plantation Bay.
State transportation officials decided in January to install a traffic signal at the entrance to the subdivision, which has been a trouble spot in Flagler County for serious and fatal crashes. Chris Cairns, assistant district traffic operations engineer for the department of transportation, said in January that if all goes well, the installation could be finished by the end of the summer.