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Green Cove Springs Prepares for Population Boom

News 4 Jax - September 30, 2018 - full feature here

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - The small Clay County town of Green Cove Springs is preparing for a population explosion.  The outer beltway project is planned near Green Cove Springs and it will bring more people and more traffic along with it. 

If you ask life-long locals like Ronald Roberts, they will tell you Green Cove isn’t the small town it used to be.  "At one time, I could walk the streets of Green Cove Springs and I knew nine out of every 10 people I met. Now, I don’t know one out of 10," said Roberts. 

The outer beltway project is one factor. When the new highway is eventually built near Green Cove, it will bring thousands of new residents. 

Another construction project will spark new growth. The Shands Bridge is being re-built taller so more shipping traffic can come through. It will be a boom for Green Cove’s port.  South Green Cove is the likely site for two new public schools in the coming years as well. 

"If you just look at development on 17 Vallencourt, a construction company has moved their corporate headquarters here," said former mayor Mitch Timberlake.  Timberlake, now a city council member, says there is a lot of business going inside the city limits with new businesses, but the majority is going up right outside the town’s border in the greater Green Cove Springs area.  "We’ll probably see 50,000 people move into Green Cove in the very short period. It’s not just this area but a big portion will be in this part of Clay County. We’re expecting probably of 10-20,000 people around us in Green Cove," said Timberlake. 

For Roberts, it just means more change.  "At one time there was a mom and pop store on every corner in the city.  Now, you can count them on one hand in the entire county," said Roberts.

This summer, News4Jax reported on the places where the Clay County school district was considering to build new schools. They told News4jax that Green Cove Springs had the highest need and there are currently three new schools planned for the area by 2030.

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The Clay Florida Economic Development Corporation provides concierge service for companies who want to re-invest in expansion in the county or relocate their companies to the region.

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