Space City, USA has its economy grounded
Who would have thought that a city in Brevard County, FL that once attracted thousands of people to relocate is now on the verge of losing its economy and its residents? Many have taken advantage of the careers that the Kennedy Space Center has created but all could be foiled when President Obama took priority of more pressing issues when he stepped into office. Yahoo News reports, “The hope around Titusville and Kennedy Space Center was that most of the 8,000 NASA shuttle contract workers would simply flow into corresponding positions in the Constellation program. But preliminary projections two years ago found that Kennedy could lose as much as 80 percent of its contract workforce, about 6,400 jobs. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this year Obama revealed a 2011 budget with no money allocated for Constellation, effectively canceling Bush’s plan and instead recommending that the focus be on privatized spaceflight. Though Congress still has to OK the measure, Titusville faces the possibility of another economic upheaval.”
Reports state that about 8,000 workers are about to lose their jobs this year. What I fear is that many people’s incomes are anchored on the space program’s mortality and so is their children’s education. With this bleak future, does it still pay for homebuyers to consider Titusville this time? I’d say you better weigh your decisions first. Even residents are now dissatisfied with the way the local officials are handling its city development projects. FloridaToday.com reports, “Closed lanes, traffic congestion, sometimes-restricted turns onto side streets and reduced parking have some people avoiding the U.S. 1 business corridor… Courtney Barker, Titusville’s planning director, said other features of the project include landscaping, patterned sidewalks made with specially colored concrete, antique-looking lighting and a new entrance feature to welcome motorists. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency is putting in $1.5 million for streetscape improvements that are not covered by Department of Transportation funds.”
Businesses are truly hurting there.
Yet, I don’t think that these issues can cripple this city that once survived the end of the Apollo program in the 1970s. There’s a rally slated on April 11 at Cocoa Expo Sports Center that would call for saving space workers’ jobs. Hundreds are expected to attend including U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, Florida Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and shuttle astronauts Jon McBride and Bob Springer according to one report. Unless they want to switch careers and settle for healthcare jobs now that the infamous Healthcare Reform Bill was signed already, there’s always a good reason to join the rally, save their jobs and save the city.