Worth County - - Worth is setting its sights on an economic boom. Development officials say the number of businesses there has declined over the last ten years. They want to change that trend. So, county leaders want to come up with a ten year plan for growth.
Several years ago, Ann Barksdale designed this landscape on Highway 82 for the city of Sylvester. Today, she's still clipping rosebushes even though her paycheck for the job cleared long ago.
"So it will bloom more."
It's because she cares for the appearance of her town.
"Well I'd like it looking better, neater, cleaner, beautified."
City and county leaders are looking for more like her.
"We have assets in Worth County, but in order to deploy those assets we need to know where the people want them and that will determine how we market those assets," says Economic Development Director Alex McCoy.
He's calling on the public to provide input on where Worth County should be by the year 2017.
Already the city has worked out a deal with Walgreens. The company is building its location off of 82. Further down the highway, city leaders have cleared land for another development.
"Were just trying to prepare this area for business to come in. They've got to have the land, the sewer, and the city limits and everything," says Chamber of Commerce President Hollie Jones.
But they're not saying much on what its for.
"Anything else in the works?" we asked.
"Umm no, not that I can talk about," Jones says with a smile.
Workers are putting the final touches on Sylvester's new police building. And the owner of another property on 82 is cleaning it up to offer a spot for another potential business.
"We have to bring in some business so that all of the burden doesn't fall to the residents. If we bring in the residents, they pay taxes. We don't want all the burden to fall on residents," Jones says.
The county's economic development director says Worth is falling behind the curve.
"We can certainly have more than what we've got," McCoy says.
That's why folks like Ann Barksdale are doing their part.
Because home is where the heart is.
Thursday night, county leaders held the second of four public forums for people like you to come out and tell them what you want. The next meeting will take place April 17th at Gordy New Bethel Baptist church on Highway 112 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.