Chamber Advocacy Update – October 7, 2014


As part of your Chamber Business Advocacy Committee’s goal of monitoring, informing, communicating and advocating on your behalf regarding important issues impacting local businesses, listed below are highlights for the upcoming local government meetings during the weeks of October 6.

As with all City & County Commission meetings, Chamber staff will be in attendance in support of your business and joining with our partners toward enhancing our region’s economic climate.  Below you will find a brief description of those issues that you may find of special interest.

City of Tallahassee Meeting (October 8)

The next City of Tallahassee Commission regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8 at 4 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of City Hall.  A series of issues presented on the agenda appear of particular interest to the business community.  Additional information regarding all City agenda issues (such as those highlighted below) can be found in the full City agenda available HERE.

A handful of items under the Public Hearing section of the agenda appear of interest to the business community, including:

  • Agenda Item 12.01 introduces two ordinances, to be finally approved at a future city commission meeting on October 22, that would amend current City electric and water utility rates.  Building upon a recent outside consultant’s analysis and recommendations, the ordinances (if approved) would maintain (no change) current residential electricity rates at present levels while increasing electricity rates for commercial users ranging from a modest 0.3% to a maximum increase of 5.7%. Water utility rates would stand for a 5.3% increase under this proposal. According to City staff analysis, the resulting new rate levels would bring the city into compliance with “projected…annual revenue requirements” and would remain below state averages for each category.
  • Agenda Item 12.02 introduces an ordinance, also to be finally approved at the City’s October 22 meeting, that would expand the boundaries of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority (TDIA).  As the boundaries of the Authority have not been expanded since creation in 1971, the recent proposal stems from a recent holistic review, including broad public involvement, to better position the TDIA to achieve its goals of stimulating redevelopment, marketing and generally supporting economic vitality within our community’s downtown core.
  • A series of public hearing items on various zoning changes are also slated for action at the meeting.
  • Two items on general business related to the Tallahassee Regional Airport have also been placed on the agenda (Items 13.02 and 13.03, respectively).  The first item would allow for airport staff to pursue an international designation for the airport to further stimulate economic development by allowing for charter uses, internationally, and within range of TLH.  Another item would allow for the implementation of a new long term (weekly) parking rate for use of travelers utilizing our regional airport.  This parking proposal, based on current long term parking rates (of $11/day), would effectively provide weekly users the seventh day “free” for a weekly parking rate totaling $66.  This is yet another incentive intended to drive increased utilization of our key regional transportation asset.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions you may have about this content and/or the Chamber’s comprehensive set of activities to Monitor, Inform, Engage and Advocate on behalf of the Greater Tallahassee business community through the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee.

On behalf of your Business Advocacy Committee,

Benjamin H. Pingree, MPA
Vice President, Business Retention/Expansion & Public Policy

Seeking to monitor, inform, communicate and engage for the benefit of our members, businesses and economic good.