HCDC highlights growing industry

The Holmes County Development Commission is going about the business of promoting economic growth in Holmes County.

HCDC Executive Director Joe Rone says in addition to businesses looking to the 79 Corridor as a potential place to locate, still others have contacted him about setting up at the forthcoming industrial park, which will be located off Thomas Drive in Bonifay. The commission is currently using a $297,900 grant from the Department of Economic Opportunity to make the site more shovel ready – and in turn, more attractive to potential new industry.

Rone is also working with county commissioners and the City of Bonifay to breathe new life into the old Bonifay Middle School. Currently, plans are in the early stages to convert the campus into a public annex that would house Holmes County’s government offices. HCDC bought the decommissioned school, along with about 30 acres, last July.

“The newer wings have a lot of potential,” said Rone. “They are solidly built.”

Additionally, the school’s gymnasium has piqued the interest of a manufacturing company; however, Rone states the commission is just beginning development negotiations.

The purchase of the old farmer’s market site on Highway 90 is also in the works, with plans to lease the property to the still-expanding Xtreme Boats. The site is projected to house multiple manual welding stations and three robotic welding stations.

Xtreme Boats has already been expanding, having relocated from Highway 79 in Esto to the development commission site on Highway 90 last year. The company is looking to expand its current site with new buildings that will house powder coating services and more.

Growth can also be seen with Weather King buildings and Trans Corp, which is subcontracted by Florida Department of Transportation for signage along I-10 spanning east from Mississippi.

These companies, along with Environmental Manufacturing, are looking to hire more staff to keep up with the demand for services.

Environmental Manufacturing specializes in special production fabrications and is currently in the process of adding three more major contracts to its current who’s who of clientele.

“There’s a lot going on from an economic development standpoint,” said Rone. “I’m just excited about where we are headed in this county.”

This article originally appeared on Washington County News: HCDC highlights growing industry