KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 14, 2015 – The Kissimmee Utility Authority board of directors on December 9 pledged up to $1 million to offset infrastructure costs for the first phase of the Osceola County/UCF Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (FAMRC) project.
Responding to a request by Osceola County and the City of Kissimmee, the utility agreed to a one-time waiver of line extension fees for the 100,000-square-foot facility currently under construction in Osceola County. The contribution marks the largest ever economic development incentive made by the utility for a single project.
The center will focus on the design and testing of the next generation of smart sensors and will be operated by the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR), the world’s first industry-led smart-sensor consortium. The center is expected to open in early 2017. A study completed for the Orlando Economic Development Commission says the facility could establish a tech cluster that could attract 20,000 high-wage jobs and $482 million in tax revenue in its first 10 years in Florida.
“Both the city and county have judged this sensor project to be a tremendous opportunity for this community to attract high-wage jobs and spur economic growth,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “Our board has pledged its support for the project by underwriting the cost of the electrical infrastructure needed to power the new facility.”
The center is being built on 20 acres served by KUA near the intersection of U.S. 192 and Florida’s Turnpike, across U.S. 192 from Osceola Heritage Park. Osceola County owns 250 acres adjacent to the site that it plans to develop into a business park known as The Farm.
The project is a partnership between Osceola County, the University of Central Florida, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the Orlando Economic Development Commission and Enterprise Florida.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 69,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida. 177