August 20, 2012
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Today, there is some exciting news from a City of Orlando company,
Nephron Pharmaceuticals. They are announcing a new over-the-counter
alternative to the discontinued Primatene® Mist inhaler –
Asthmanefrin. For all of you parents whose kids have asthma or if
you have it yourself, you may recall that the Primatene® Mist was
recently removed from distribution by the FDA. This new product from
Nephron will provide much needed relief to those that used to rely
on the nebulizer. Nephron reports the product will be in Walmart and
CVS this month.
The City has worked closely with Nephron as they built their new
facility here in Orlando, and we are pleased to see their continuing
School Starting and Best Foot Forward Reminder
This morning, I joined with Orlando Police Department Chief Paul
Rooney to assist in School Crossing Guard duties for Metrowest
Elementary when Orange County students returned to the classroom for
their first day of school. The work-along is an effort to raise
awareness about pedestrian safety and traffic laws to prevent
unnecessary pedestrian injuries and deaths.
During the work-along, as part of Operation Best Foot Forward,
Orlando Police Officers were at the school warning drivers who fail
to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks as the State of Florida law
Operation Best Foot Forward, a high-visibility enforcement
operation, is a key component of a community-wide effort to cut
pedestrian deaths and injuries in half over the next five years in
Metro Orlando. Other elements of the program focus on using low-cost
engineering and community education.
Kicks for Guns Results
On Thursday, August 16, the Orlando Police Department participated
in the annual Kicks for Guns event. This is the 14th year that OPD
has participated in this event. A total of 1333 guns were collected
at the 13 locations and 36 of those guns were illegal, including
sawed-off shotguns, serial numbers removed and guns reported stolen.
Last Thursday, I joined with members of our senior staff at the
monthly IDignity event to help disadvantaged in Central Florida
overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification
that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient.
These monthly events provide assistance and aid to approximately 225
people in receiving Florida ID cards and licenses, birth
certificates, Social Security cards and other documents with
assistance from legal counsel.
NBA City Construction Kick-off
Last Tuesday, I joined with NBA City to kick-off the construction of
The Club at NBA City, the Amway Center’s newest destination. The new
restaurant, scheduled to open in October 2012 just in time for the
upcoming Magic season, will feature 4,160 square-feet of
ground-floor space and an outdoor patio on the plaza.
Items of Note
Four items on our consent agenda
could bring 348 new jobs to the City of Orlando within the next
New York Diner
We are approving a Business Assistance program agreement for New
York Diner, a new eatery near the airport. The New York Diner plans
to create 55 new positions through this project. The Business
Assistance Program offsets a portion of the impact fees assessed to
open or expand a business in the City of Orlando…and we are pleased
to support New York Diner through this program.
Benecard Services is a full service prescription benefit
administrator that includes mail and specialty drug dispensing.
Benecard plans to expand its services to include Medicare Part D
prescription drug plans beginning in January 2013.
Due to the expansion of services, Benecard anticipates the need to
hire 159 employees over the next three years, 24 of which will be
hired by December 31 of this year. Benecard has facilities in NY and
PA that could have handled this expected growth, so we are honored
that Benecard is considering its facility on Millenia Blvd. in
Orlando for this project.
ClearView Systems is currently headquartered in Orlando and
manufactures and distributes baseball and softball equipment.
The company realized it had specific software needs that could not
be obtained from any software providers, and therefore created its
own software. To provide solutions for other businesses that are
facing a similar situation, the company is launching software and
engineering division which will provide software solutions of all
kinds for businesses.
ClearView plans to construct a new 40,000 sq ft building on LB
McLeod Road and will create 100 new jobs over the next three years.
Mazor Robotics, Inc
An Israeli company, Mazor Robotics, Inc. currently markets and
distributes “The Renaissance System,” a miniature robotic system
(about the size of a soda can) that can be used for several medical
applications, including spine surgery.
The robotic system is transforming spine surgery to a more accurate
procedure with less radiation. The system is particularly successful
in spinal surgeries of all kinds, including surgeries in children
who suffer from scoliosis.
Mazor began selling the product in the United States in 2010, and
today, Florida Hospital for Children is the only children’s hospital
in the state of Florida to offer the Mazor system and Florida
Hospital Celebration Health and Florida Hospital Carrollwood are the
only other hospitals in the state to offer Mazor robotics for adult
So, it seems natural that Mazor is considering placing their U.S.
headquarters at Florida Hospital’s health village. The company plans
to add 34 jobs over three years.
If you’ll recall, in March 2011, I lead a Metro Orlando EDC business
and trade mission to Israel with members of the Florida Hospital
team, who already had and were continuing to build synergies between
Orlando and Israel as it relates to life sciences opportunities.
This is another testament to the value of creating targeted and
strategic international relations, for educational exchanges and to
pursue economic development opportunities.
We are pleased to welcome Mazor’s US Headquarters to Orlando and
look forward to continued growth and success in our City.
On today’s agenda is a $53,000 grant from the National League of
Cities for the 2012-2013 CHAMP Cities Combating Hunger through
Afterschool Meal Program. Grant funds will help expand the City's
Summer Feeding Program for children so that it becomes a year round
feeding program at Recreation Division Community Centers, Orlando
After School All Stars and Parramore Kidz Zone sites.
The City is committed to moving the needle on this issue and we look
forward to putting these dollars to work in our community to help
our most disadvantaged children obtain the nutritious food they need
in order to be healthy and productive.