Good news in Port St. Lucie

Good news in Port St. Lucie

young man doing a thumbs up

A lot of good things are happening in Port St. Lucie. Here are a few examples:

August 2015: Expedia.com ranks Port St. Lucie as the 14th most comfortable place in the U.S. for a hotel stay. Expedia reviewed data compiled from millions of customers and created a list of the 101 cities with the highest hotel comfort ratings.

July 2015: Bloomberg Business says Port St. Lucie will be one of the leading cities in the nation to see economic growth in 2016. With a projected economic growth rate of 4 percent, the city ranked 14th in the U.S., partly because of a continued growth in the local retirement population.

June 2015: Ranked Best City in the U.S. for Firefighters by consumer research company ValuePenguin.

May 2015: Investor's Business Daily names Port St. Lucie 2nd "hottest housing market" in the U.S for the first quarter of 2015. Also reported in The Wall Street Journal. The news was based on statistics from the National Association of Realtors.

March 2015: Golf Digest rates the PGA Golf Course here as one of the best in the state.

September 2014: WalletHub.com ranks Port St. Lucie 7th in its list of Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

August 2014: The National Weather Service recognizes Port St. Lucie as a StormReady Community.  The city is the 19th StormReady certified city in Florida. Residents may be eligible for insurance discounts as a result.

August 2014: The Keep America Beautiful Committee gives Port St. Lucie a score of 1.22 on its recent Community Appearance Litter Index. It is the lowest score the city ever received and means the Committee has determined PSL has minimal litter in public places.

July 2014: Forbes.com names Port St. Lucie the 8th Best City for Job Growth in the country, saying jobs are mainly in healthcare, retail and leisure and hospitality.

May 2014: Travel-related website DestinationSeeker.com ranks PSL as the Best Place to Live in Florida.

March 2014: Port St. Lucie ranks 13th Best City to Start a Business in the U.S. by WalletHub.com, which is an online social network about personal finance.

January 2014: Forbes ranks the city as one of the 25 Best Places to Retire.

January 2014: Movoto.com, a national online real estate brokerage, ranks PSL number one on a list of the 10 Best Places to Live in Florida.

October 2013: Forbes names PSL one of the 200 Best Places for Business & Careers.

2013: Allstate Insurance Company ranks PSL as one of the 50 safest cities for driving in the U.S. Only one other Florida city made the list.

2012: The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report says the Port St. Lucie area is one of the top five in the country for clean air. This was reported nationally in CNN-Money.com.

2012: The U.S. Census Bureau says PSL had the nation’s highest homeownership rate, with 76 percent of houses occupied by the owner. In 2013 PSL moved up to 78 percent. The national average is 65 percent.

Current numbers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the fastest-growing segment of the local job market is Professional and Business Services. That category has grown 11 percent in the last year and is up 41 percent from the low in June of 2010. This equals 4,800 new jobs.

As of February 2015, PSL added about 2,800 leisure and hospitality-related jobs since Jan. 2010, and about 3,600 jobs in education and health services.

The unemployment rate in Port St. Lucie hits 6.1 percent in February, down from 14 percent in August 2010.

Applications for building permits are up. In 2014, PSL issued 20,799 permits, which is an increase of 58 percent from the low in 2009. In March 2015, there were 2,312 applications, which is up 30 percent from one year earlier.

Florida Realtors say the median sale price for a single family home in Port St. Lucie is up 13.5 percent from a year ago, and it is selling faster.

PSL’s property values are up 6.5 percent for 2014.

2013: PSL’s crime rate falls 19.3 percent, after falling 19.6 percent in 2012.

It is the 11th year that Port St. Lucie had the lowest crime rate in Florida for a city with a population of 100,000 or more, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics.

Police Department & Public Works Department reaccredited in 2014.

Finance Department and the Office of Management and Budget awarded for excellence by national associations for 20+ consecutive years.

Special recognition

Police Department:

  • C.A.L.E.A. (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.)
    In 1991, the Port St. Lucie Police Department was the 193rd law enforcement agency in the United States, and the first in St. Lucie County, to become nationally accredited through C.A.L.E.A. The agency has successfully been awarded re-accreditation 6 times with the most recent award being received in 2013 for “Advanced Meritorious Accreditation” (accredited for 15 consecutive years).
  • C.F.A. (Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation)
    In 1997, the agency was awarded state accredited status through C.F.A. Since then the department has been re-accredited an additional 5 times with the most recent award being received in 2013 for “Excelsior” status (meaning highest level of achievement in Florida Accreditation a Criminal Justice Agency can receive).

Public Works Department:

  • A.P.W.A. (American Public Works Association) Third Consecutive Re-Accreditation
    In February, 2014, the Port St. Lucie Public Works Department received its third consecutive A.P.W.A. Re-Accreditation, making the agency accredited for 14 years.  The Public Works Department had received the original APWA Accreditation in July, 2001, was re-accredited in 2006, and received a second re-accreditation in 2010.  The City was 1st in the State of Florida to receive the accreditation and 8th nationwide.

Office of Management and Budget:

  • G.F.O.A. (Government Finance Officers Association) “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” The City of Port St. Lucie Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” by the GFOA. The City has earned this annual award for 26 consecutive years.

Finance Department:

  • G.F.O.A. (Government Finance Officers Association) “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting”
    The City of Port St. Lucie Finance Department received the “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” for the September 30, 2014, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the GFOA. The City has received this prestigious award for 23 consecutive years. There are more than 400 municipalities in the State of Florida and the City is one of only 170 to have received this Award.

Procurement Management Department:

  • N.I.G.P. (National Institute of Government Purchasing) Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement
    The City of Port St. Lucie Procurement Management Department has received NIGP Outstanding Agency Accreditation for five 3 year consecutive terms (2003 – 2017). The City is one of only 54 agencies in the United States to receive this award.
  • F.A.P.P.O. (Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials) “Award for Excellence in Public Procurement”
    The City of Port St. Lucie Procurement Management Department has received the FAPPO “Award for Excellence in Public Procurement” for 12 consecutive years (2004 – 2015), and is one of only 17 agencies in the State of Florida to receive the award, scoring among the highest of the submittals.
  • N.P.I. (National Purchasing Institute) “Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award”
    The City of Port St. Lucie Procurement Management Department has received the NPI “Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award” for 13 consecutive years (2003 – 2015), and is one of only 27 agencies in the State of Florida and of 199 in the United States to receive the award.
  • U.P.P.C.C. (Universal Public Procurement Certification Council) Agency Certification
    The City of Port St. Lucie Procurement Management Department has received the UPPCC Agency Certification Award for 5 consecutive years (2010-2015), and is one of only 187 agencies in the United States to receive the award.
  • U.P.P.C.C. (Universal Public Procurement Certification Council) Sterling Award
    The City of Port St. Lucie Procurement Management Department has received the UPPCC Sterling Award for two 3 year consecutive terms (2010 – 2015), and is one of only 85 agencies in the United States to receive the award.

Utility Systems Department:

  • F.S.A.W.W.A. (Florida Section Region VIII of the American Water Works Association) “Best tasting water”
    In February, 2013, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments Prineville Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named “Best tasting water” by the FSAWWA.
  • S.E.D.A. (Southeast Desalting Association) “2014 Outstanding Membrane Plant”
    In June, 2014, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments James E. Anderson Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named the “2014 Outstanding Membrane Plant” by SEDA, an affiliate of the American Desalting Association.
  • National Association of Governmental Communicators “Award of Excellence”
    In July, 2014, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems and Communications Departments jointly accepted an “Award of Excellence” from the National Association of Governmental Communicators for an educational video produced about the potential damage caused to sewer utility systems by flushing “flushable wipes”
  • F.S.A.W.W.A. (Florida Section Region VIII of the American Water Works Association) “Runner-up best tasting water”
    In March, 2015, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments’ James E. Anderson Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named “Runner-up best tasting water” by the FSAWWA.