The Central Florida Regional Planning Council serves as the Economic Development District (EDD) for the Central Florida Region. An EDD is a designated planning office that is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to provide technical assistance for application processing, administration of awarded projects, and identification of regional funding opportunities. The Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s EDD has been serving the region since 1976 (District VII). The Region is comprised of Polk, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, and Okeechobee Counties.
The Heartland Brownfields Revitalization Partnership (HBRP) assists local governments in cleaning up and generating economic development on abandoned or underused commercial and industrial sites. With funding from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) brownfield program, and the cooperation of the property owners, sites were assessed for the historical potential for environmental contamination, and, if needed, field testing of soil, water and buildings was conducted. If sites prove to be contaminated, loan and subgrant funding through a Revolving Loan Fund, created with a cleanup grant from the EPA, is available.