The City of Palm Coast hosted its seventh annual State of the City event on February 1, 2024, at the Palm Coast Community Center, themed ‘Palm Coast: A City on the Rise.’ This gathering served as a platform to connect with the community, share key milestones and accomplishments, and provide insights into the city’s progress and vision for the coming year.
To commence the State of the City Address, Palm Coast City Manager Denise Bevan touched on her 17-year tenure with the city and the deep connection she feels to this community. Highlighting pivotal projects such as the development of Waterfront Park and the successful permitting of the Southern Recreation Center, Bevan emphasized immense pride in the city’s achievements. Collaborative efforts with the City Council, staff, and partners were underscored, expressing unwavering belief in Palm Coast’s potential for continued growth and success.
Mayor Alfin then emphasized the importance of community engagement, encouraging residents to welcome one another. He highlighted Palm Coast’s pride in public safety, infrastructure, and quality of life, while also acknowledging challenges like traffic and stormwater. He expressed optimism for the city’s future despite these challenges, emphasizing the unique identity shaped by residents’ collective experiences.
Palm Coast Fire Chief Kyle Berryhill highlighted the department’s 50 years of service and announced a new Seminole Woods fire station to enhance emergency response capabilities. Achievements included educating 10,000 people during Fire Safety Month and responding to challenges like Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly showcased the accomplishments of his agency, with crime decreasing by 54%, ranking Palm Coast the 2nd safest in Florida and the 39th safest city in the United States.
Mayor Alfin then shined a spotlight on Palm Coast’s economic vitality and business advancements in 2023. The city experienced substantial business growth, renewing its commitment to supporting local businesses through strategic partnerships. The grand opening of Advent Health Palm Coast Parkway marked a crucial milestone in healthcare, generating over 600 local jobs.
Looking ahead to 2024, Mayor Alfin outlined bustling developments in Town Center and the SR100 corridor, underscoring the city’s dedication to economic prosperity and community well-being.
“As we continue to navigate the path forward, let’s embrace the upcoming year with optimism, unity, and a shared pledge to make Palm Coast an even more wonderful place to live, learn, work, and play,” Mayor Alfin said.
Near the end of the presentation, Mayor Alfin recognized three exceptional leaders in the community and presented them with awards from the City of Palm Coast.
The Public Service Award was presented to David Lydon for his unwavering dedication to serving the veteran community in Palm Coast and Flagler County, setting an exemplary standard for public service.
Mayor Alfin named Carrie Baird this year’s Citizen of the Year for her exceptional leadership and commitment to addressing the diverse needs of the community as the Chief Executive Officer of Flagler Cares.
Finally, the Next Generation Award was presented to Erik Libby and the To-Do-Dudes for fostering personal and professional growth in students while helping community neighbors.
For those who couldn’t attend the State of the City in person, a live stream of the event can be accessed at: 2024 State of the City LIVE. Additionally, the 2023 Annual Progress Report for 2023 is accessible online at: palmcoast.gov/communications.
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