Business View Civil and Municipal | Volume 2, Issue 9

146 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 2, ISSUE 9 nty, E I N T H E H E A RT L AND C entral west Florida is home to the naturally beautiful and serene DeSoto County. Located only an hour north of Fort Myers and an hour east of Sarasota, the county spreads across the Peace River Valley in lush abundance. It is one of Florida’s leading producers of oranges, watermelons, olives, and tomatoes. It’s also one of the state’s most beloved tourist destinations with endless possibilities for adventure. Whether exploring fragrant fruit orchards, unearthing hidden fossils beneath the sands at Peace River Campground, or hunting for exquisite antiques in Arcadia’s historic downtown, there’s always something new to discover in DeSoto County. “I would describe us as being in the middle of everywhere – some might say we are small and rural, but DeSoto County is right in the heartland of Florida, surrounded by urban amenities, yet we get to enjoy the quieter life,” shares Mandy Hines, County Administrator. “Our cost of living is 11.4 percent lower than the U.S. average. Yet we have easy access to the adjacent counties of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Highlands. So, in an hour you can be at the beach, or an airport, or seaport. In 30 minutes, you can be at a mall, but we don’t have to live in the same congestion that often comes with living near those types of amenities.” Arcadia is the only incorporated city and is our county seat. Of the county’s population of