Cocoa’s Community Newsletter
Issue 143 - 1st Quarter 2022
City offices are closed on the following dates:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 17, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022
Day After Thanksgiving
Monday, May 30, 2022
City Manager's Corner
We Are Cocoa
After waiting for over a year, we have finally received our 2020 Census data late last year. In 2010, we were a city of 17,140 people. We are now a city of over 19,000 people and growing every day.
By the numbers we are one of the more diverse cities in the county. In running a city government for such a large and diverse community, there are many challenges.
One of them is not letting the loud voice of one or a few deter you from the mission of service to all. As a community, we have accomplished much over the last year and together we still have a lot of work to do. Together, we are Cocoa.
Accomplishments Over the Past Year
- New Waste Removal Contract that kept increases for residents to a minimum while maintaining a high level of service.
- New Police Chief Evander Collier, IV started this past Spring and as you will read in this newsletter, is already off to a tremendous start.
- Park Improvements with much needed upgrades to fields, bathroom facilities, lighting and much more, which you can read more about in this quarter’s newsletter.
- An increase in employee salaries to make us competitive and allow us to recruit and retain qualified, hardworking employees to serve our residents as well as successfully negotiated 5 union contracts.
- Online Permitting and interactive zoning map to make the process of obtaining a permit with the City of Cocoa easier and more user friendly for our residents and business owners.
- We have successfully welcomed a number of new development projects in to the City including Amazon, Cirrus Apartments and a number of new housing units throughout the City.
- The City of Cocoa was able to successfully utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding to work with the owners of Save-A-Lot along Dixon Blvd. to remain open and prevent a food dessert in an underserved area of our community.
- American Rescue Plan Act funding was secured for projects such as facility improvements at the Police Department, HVAC repairs throughout the City and to provide laptops at our community centers.
- Over $2 million in grant funding was secured through FEMA to help improve drainage along Fiske Blvd and the Broadmoor Acres subdivision.
- A lease agreement to utilize old Fire Station 1 was successfully negotiated with Family Promise of Brevard to allow them to expand their services in our community. Family Promise of Brevard Leases Cocoa Facility.
- We were able to successfully secure grant funding to assist in content curation for the Leon and Jewel Collins Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Two new businesses received a $10,000 grant through the new UpStart Cocoa Business Startup program funded by the City of Cocoa and the Diamond Square Redevelopment Agency.
- The City’s Finance Department won the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the third year in a row for meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting which you can read more about in this newsletter.
- The Communication’s Office was recognized with both a Judge’s Award and Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association for the communication plan promoting the City’s Citizens Academy program.
- Gutters were installed and streets paved in a number of communities including Diamond Square and Broadmoor Acres.
There have been a number of other accomplishments throughout the year that we will continue to highlight in the FYI Newsletter each quarter. We also have a number of other ways that we keep our residents informed of what is happening in our community, including the City website and through our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, NextDoor). Make sure you stay connected to see how you can become more engaged in your local government.
We have a number of priorities and initiatives to accomplish this upcoming year. This spring we will be starting our FY23 Budget Priorities and Development process. Council appointed a redistricting committee that is hard at work redrawing district boundary lines as required by the Charter after the release of the new 2020 Census data. We will be embarking on the development of a new strategic plan that will guide the City in prioritizing initiatives and allocating resources needed to achieve the vision of the community. We must also finalize the Parks Master Plan which will engage community stakeholder input with Council priorities to create a plan for Cocoa’s community parks.
We are also working hard to make sure that the new Brightline commuter rail from Miami to Orlando chooses Cocoa as the destination for it’s Space Coast Station.
These are just a few of the many priorities we face as a community. Together, we will continue to make Cocoa a great place to live, work and play. Because together, we are Cocoa.
-Stockton Whitten, Cocoa City Manager
To subscribe to the FYI, Cocoa's Community Newsletter, visit our FYI Newsletter website, or call Samantha Senger at (321) 433-8685. You can have the newsletter e-mailed right to you.
Have something that you would like to see in the next issue of the FYI? Email Samantha Senger, Public Relations Specialist, your comments and feedback or call her at (321) 433-8685.
Cocoa Council Meetings
Cocoa City Council meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm at City Hall located at 65 Stone Street.
Lavander HearnDeputy Mayor - District 2Phone: 321-474-1189
Lorraine KossCouncil Member - District 4Phone: 321-474-8445
Michael C. BlakeMayorPhone: 321-474-1758
Alex GoinsCouncil Member - District 1Phone: 321-474-4923
Rip DyalCouncil Member - District 3Phone: 321-474-4924
Save the Date
June 18, 2022
The City of Cocoa is once again hosting a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village. This full day celebration will feature musical entertainment, readings, speeches from community leaders, kids activities, food and business vendors, and more. Don't miss out on this day to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.