Callaway hiring company to help with economic development

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CALLAWAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Callaway commissioners voted to move forward with hiring a company that helps cities with economic development.

The company is called NextSite and city commissioners say they think it can help bring businesses to Callaway.

A representative from NextSite wasn't able to make it to Tuesday's commission meeting so the Bay County Chamber of Commerce sent Chair, Doug Moore, to talk to the commissioners.

Commissioners heard from Moore, that the company specializes with bringing in commercial retail and restaurants.

They also work on re-purposing existing sites and buildings.

Moore says NextSite has connections with developers and they'll be able to tell those developers exactly what's available to them in Callaway.

It's a three party contract with the chamber, the city, and NextSite.

To send a message, the chamber is promising to pay a percentage of the costs for each of the three years that the city could sign on for NextSite's services.

In total, the city will have to pay just over $29,000 for NextSite's services. The Chamber of Commerce will pay almost $13,000.

One commissioner mentioned that the city would not be able to afford these services otherwise.

Other cities like Destin, Panama City and Chipley have already partnered with NextSite.

At the meeting, some citizens spoke up about their disapproval of the deal, one mentioning it sounded "wishy-washy" to him.

Another woman disapproving of the idea said businesses in the past had already opened and closed in Callaway.

NextSite will perform an analysis on the city with emphasis on the area near the Tyndall Highway Corridor and Highway 22.