Newberry, Fla. (WCJB) What could be a game changer for the City of Newberry and much of North Central Florida was prominent at tonight's state of the City address in Newberry.
City leaders are putting stock in the proposed agriculture center.
This state of the city was different from previous years because it was held at night instead of in the morning and 12 different Newberry stationed restaurants shared a taste of what they have to offer which was a huge hit.
The night may have started out with food and plenty of it but it was mayor Jordan Marlowes speech showcasing some of the big improvements to the city in 2018 which spoke the loudest.
"Our ability to serve our residents with ambulatory service was approaching 18 minute response times which is completely unacceptable. The City of Newberry added an ambulance bay, the County provided the ambulance, it's a wonderful relationship and now we'll be able to see those response times under 5 minutes which is where they need to be."
Also addressed was renegotiations with the County about how much gas tax revenue would come to Newberry, an extra 1.5 million which will go right back into Newberry roads.
Mayor Marlowe emphatically said, "we are going to maintain the roads in Newberry as they've never been maintained before."
Finally, Marlowe updated citizens on the arrival of a new agricultural tech park which he says he is more than 90 percent sure will happen in the next few years.
"We hope to create a completely symbiotic agricultural park from Canterbury dealing with youth fairs, Ag fairs for children to IFAS with the University of Florida all the way up to private industry and USDA. I don't think there's one agricultural industry in America which wouldn't want to come to Newberry on the City of Newberry's Ag-tech innovation park."
Newberry resident Douglas Hutchinson added, " we have a great future looking ahead. They understand what their natural assets are, they've looked to expand those and take their market share of the area."
The address ended with thanks to City staff and a promise to continue working towards making Newberry the agricultural center of North Central Florida while keeping its small-town feel alive and well.