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North Port breaks ground on Gateway Corridor water and sewer expansions

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New Sumter Blvd. infrastructure is key for economic development in North Port

NORTH PORT – The City of North Port on Monday officially kicked off the extension of water and sewer services to the Sumter Boulevard “Gateway Corridor,” an area targeted for future medical and economic development opportunities.

The $3.8 million project, funded primarily through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, will extend a City water main from Sylvania Avenue and a sewer main from just north of City Center Boulevard along Sumter Boulevard to the north side of Interstate 75.

The City held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for officials and guests to celebrate the expansion of 1.5 miles of water and 2.2 miles of sewer mains. The project will be completed by a Sarasota-based contractor, Spectrum Underground, Inc., within one year.

“Sumter Boulevard serves as a gateway into the City of North Port, and this infrastructure is going to support the economic growth and expansion demands in our City’s gateway corridor,” said North Port City Manager Jerome Fletcher. “The utility expansion will bring in high-paying jobs, workforce development and increased demands for commercial, medical, office, retail and dining options. The City is prepared to meet those demands.”

According to a 2021 Market Feasibility Study, 90 percent of North Port residents commute outside of the City for work. This study also projected up to 4,000 new jobs within the Sumter Boulevard gateway corridor. Additionally, for every dollar invested in infrastructure, the City would generate up to $57 in taxable value.

The project also will help support a planned medical campus on Sumter Boulevard. Sarasota Memorial is working through the due diligence phase of planning two new medical campuses in North Port, one proposed on Sumter and one in Wellen Park.

“We are excited about the growth opportunities this project will bring to North Port and continuing our work with the city to develop plans for a new hospital and expanded medical services in the growing south county region,” said Peter Taylor, Sarasota Memorial Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, after Monday’s groundbreaking.

Just last month, the City also broke ground on a similar project that will extend 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.

“If our City’s growth trajectory continues, we are approaching a population of 100,000 residents in the next five-to-10 years. Our utility extensions along Sumter, Toledo Blade, Price and Ortiz boulevards will allow our City to get ahead of the exponential growth and get water and sewer out to non-served areas,” said Utilities Director Nancy Gallinaro. “Our City is proud to provide safe reliable water and wastewater services to incoming commercial developments.”