NORTH PORT, FL – The City of North Port is moving forward with the extension of water and sewer services along Toledo Blade Boulevard north through the Interstate 75 interchange, which will open development for nearly 3,000 acres of land in and around the City’s Innovation Corridor.

The $2 million project is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act ($340,074) and Florida Jobs Growth Grant ($1,690,000). There is also $478,655 in Utilities funds for design, permitting and a contingency for construction. The City’s water main will extend .75 miles on the east side of Toledo Blade, starting at Cranberry Boulevard. The City’s sewer main (force main) will extend 1.32 miles on the west side of Toledo Blade, starting at Panacea Boulevard.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey joined elected officials, City leadership and guests at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to commemorate this milestone in North Port’s buildout.

“Today’s groundbreaking here in North Port is a testament to Governor DeSantis’ commitment to strengthening infrastructure and developing Florida’s workforce through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund,” Acting Secretary Ivey said. “I am proud to stand alongside the City of North Port to break ground on another investment that will create opportunities for Floridians and businesses in Southwest Florida as we continue to rebuild following Hurricane Ian.”

Over the next 12 months, the City’s contractor, DBE Utility Services, will be installing 12-inch force main and 16-inch water main lines, extending City water and sewer services and bringing nearly 3,000 acres of land around the City’s Innovation Corridor one step closer to being “shovel ready.”

“The City is focused on attracting commercial, professional office, light industrial, and mixed-use development to the Innovation Corridor. The critical wet infrastructure we’re installing over the next year will lead to high-paying jobs and quality career opportunities for our workforce,” said Jerome Fletcher, North Port City Manager. “About 90% of North Port’s workforce commutes outside of the City each day. Our goal is to keep our workforce here in North Port. By creating high-paying job opportunities inside our City, we will decrease our residents’ commute and increase their quality of life.”

A Market Feasibility Study conducted in 2021 projected the extension of water and sewer along Toledo Blade Boulevard, serving undeveloped land in and around the Innovation Corridor, would create at least 2,000 new jobs. Additionally, the same study projected that for every $1 spent on infrastructure, the City would add an average of $174 of taxable value to its tax rolls that would generate non-residential property tax revenue.