General Information About Osceola County
Osceola County is a 1,506 square mile area that serves as the south/central boundary of the Central Florida Region and the Greater Metropolitan Area. The City of Kissimmee, the County Seat, is 18 miles due south of Orlando. Osceola’s only other incorporated City, St. Cloud, is 9 miles east of Kissimmee, and approximately 45 miles west of the City of Melbourne on the Atlantic Coast.
An urban and urbanizing area in the northwest quadrant of the County (adjoining to Polk and Orange County) includes most of Osceola County's population. This area includes the incorporated areas of Kissimmee and St. Cloud and several unincorporated communities including, but not limited to, Celebration, Poinciana, Buenaventura Lakes, Narcoossee, Campbell City, Intercession City and St. Cloud Manor.
Beyond the northwest quadrant except for a few very small, rural towns, like Holopaw, Kenansville, and Yeehaw Junction in the east portion of the County, ranch lands and undeveloped prairie, woods and marsh dominate the County. This large region includes several privately operated ranch and agricultural lands. Also included are the State of Florida's wildlife management areas and preserves at Bull Creek, Prairie Lakes, and the Three Lakes. As the "headwaters" of the South Florida Water Management district and the Lake Okeechobee/Florida everglades ecosystem, Osceola County is bounded by the Kissimmee River, is crossed by several partially accessible creeks, and is home to the Kissimmee Chain-of-Lakes, that includes some of the State’s largest and finest fishing and recreational attractions.
Osceola's economic base is dominated by tourism, serving as a "gateway" to Disney World and other Central Florida attractions. The area's historical investments in ranching and citrus are still very strong, while light industry and service enterprises are growing due to Osceola's transportation advantages and proximity to the Greater Orlando area. To learn more, please visit http://www.GreaterOsceola.com.
The County continues to drive forward with NeoCity, a 500-acre high-tech campus of emerging innovation in the heart of Osceola County. NeoCity’s master plan is designed to create a smart-city that will bring high technology jobs and diversify our economy. NeoCity is designed to expand Osceola’s economy and still respect the fact that the current economy is directly linked to Central Florida's tourism as Walt Disney World retains its status as the region's largest employer. For more information about NeoCity, please visit https://www.neocityfl.com/.
Osceola County is a Charter County, and an administrative subdivision of the State of Florida. Voters approved the County Charter in March 1992, and it took effect October 1992. Charter counties have all powers of self-government unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution or State law.
Osceola County government is run by a five-member elected County Commission and operates as a Commission/Manager form of government. The County Commission formally hires a County Manager and County Attorney. The County Manager hires Deputy County Managers and/or Assistant County Managers to assist with the oversight of County Commission departments. Department directors manage the operations of their assigned department and implement the County Commission’s objectives, policies and plans.
In addition, there are five independently elected Constitution Officers - Clerk of the Court, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector. Each independent officer has discretion to administer its own programs.
The Cities and the School Board each have an elected council. The incorporated cities in Osceola County (Kissimmee and St. Cloud) are “multi-purpose” local governments providing municipal services only to the residents within the cities’ boundaries. The School Board is a “single” purpose government serving all County residents within one overall program. Osceola County provides “municipal” services to unincorporated County residents and “Countywide” services to all County residents.