The Point, April 29, 2022: Florida taxpayers aren’t on the hook for Disney’s debt, governor’s administration promises

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Today’s top Florida stories

• Politico: DeSantis officials say Florida won’t pay Disney’s debt — but there’s no plan yet. “A plan for how the state will tackle Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which gives the California-based company self-governing power over its amusement park property in Central Florida, is expected to be ‘shared in the next few weeks,’ according to DeSantis officials. Yet Reedy Creek is contending that the new state law targeting Disney conflicts with the state’s original agreement, leaving at stake some $1 billion in outstanding bond debt and putting the economic future of the special district in a dire position, according to a new advisory from Fitch Ratings on Thursday.”

• WUFT News: Newberry and Alachua County partner for a new firefighter training facility. “The closest available facility is the Alachua County Fire Rescue’s Loften Training Center near Eighth Avenue in Northeast Gainesville. Newberry firefighters travel 45 minutes on average to get there for training that lasts around four hours about every other month, Newberry Fire Chief Ben Buckner said. There have been times – when not enough firefighters are on-site – Buckner has helped run emergency calls with the remaining crew members because of the reduced staffing, he said.”

• Mainstreet Daily News: GNV staff to examine multi-use complex scope. “The commissioners left specifics for the future, and while discussion centered on the current MLK Jr. Multipurpose Center and Citizen’s Field at the corner of Waldo Road and NE 8th Avenue, both commissioners Desmon Duncan-Walker and Reina Saco expressed interest in exploring other locations.”

• WJCT: Is Florida headed for a housing collapse? Probably not, and here’s why. “Houses are vastly overpriced in Jacksonville, and it could be a long time before recent buyers can sell their homes at a profit, new research concludes. But that doesn’t mean the market will collapse, according to research released Tuesday by Florida Atlantic and Florida International universities.”

• Spectrum News: ‘No signs of slowing down:’ Universal theme parks continue pandemic recovery. “Universal’s theme parks soared in the first quarter of 2022 with increased revenue and attendance: another sign the business continues to rebound from the pandemic, according to an earnings report released Thursday by parent company Comcast.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Future of state’s solar industry looks bright after DeSantis’ veto, advocates say. “…a bill Florida lawmakers passed in March would have eventually phased out that incentive for many future and current solar customers. Critics described it as a potential ‘solar killer’ in a state where solar is trying to gain a foothold.”

• TCPalm ($): Florida man traps over 100 invasive tegu lizards; FWC needs your help catching more. “Some people spend their retirement traveling the world or relaxing at home. Sid Pennington spends his trapping the invasive lizards threatening native wildlife in his community. Pennington, 60, has singlehandedly captured at least 117 Argentine black and white tegus from the woods and neighborhoods in western Fort Pierce where he lives.”

• Citrus County Chronicle ($): Second time’s the charm for Heavy Falcon: Manatee released in Three Sisters Springs. “Heavy Falcon, a 700-pound orphaned manatee, had a second homecoming to Crystal River Thursday morning.”


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