Date of county meeting changed
At their June 5 meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to move the Tuesday, June 17 meeting to Monday, June 16. This will allow commissioners to attend the legislature’s mandated ethics training.
The meeting will be at 9 a.m. in the commission meeting room in the Annex Building at 34 Forbes Street in Apalachicola.
‘Digital Kids” next week at Gulf/Franklin
Digital Kids, an exciting class for young students to learn the skills they need to be successful in today’s increasingly digital world, will be offered at the Gulf/Franklin Campus of Gulf Coast State College on Thursday, June 19 from 9 a.m. until Noon.
Geared for students age 7-10, the class will provide students with the opportunity to learn keyboarding skills and computer skills through a variety of fun, hands-on activities.
The cost for the class is $29 per student. You may register for the class on line at www.gulfcoast.edu/corpcollege/registration or by visiting the Gulf/Franklin Campus at 3800 Garrison Avenue, Port St. Joe. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the Gulf/Franklin Campus at 227-9670.
Hurricane reentry tags in Carrabelle
On Wednesday, June 18, a representative of Franklin County Emergency Management will visit the Carrabelle Municipal Center, 1001 Gray Avenue, to distribute disaster reentry tags. These tags simplify reentry of the county after an evacuation.
To get a tag, you must furnish proof of residence (ie. utility bills or other mail with a street address) and a current photo ID. You can also obtain a tag online at www.franklinemergencymanagement.com. If you have any questions, call 653-8977.
Bear-proof dumpster for Seventh Street
On June 5, Carrabelle city commissioners voted unanimously to order a bear proof dumpster for the end of Seventh Street because bears have repeatedly raided the existing dumpster. The city currently pays $62 quarterly for the dumpster in use. The cost of the bear-proof dumpster is $88 quarterly.
Tap fee waived for Carrabelle church
At Carrabelle’s June 5 city commission meeting, Commissioner Olivia Massey asked that the $3,260 tap fee to connect the Carrabelle Church of God to the city sewer system be waived.
“The church has gone from 20 members to 120. They are overflowing,” she said.
The commission voted unanimously to waive the fee.
GUSC on track in Carrabelle
On Thursday, June 5, Gulf Unmanned Systems Center CEO Bruce McCormack signed the closing papers for the purchase of the old Gulf State Bank complex on US 98 in Carrabelle, which is now headquarters for GUSC.
On the same day, GUSC finalized the lease on the old Hexaport factory on Airport Road which is now GUSC operations center.
At the city meeting held later that evening, GUSC Chief Financial Officer Lisa Spooner told the assembly that GUSC now has 10 fulltime employees. Six are from Carrabelle and all reside in Franklin County.
Spooner said GUSC will now begin work on landscaping for both headquarters and operations center and will locate a contractor to link the two facilities with secure fiber optic cable.
McCormack said he is in discussion with several potential clients.
Carrabelle museum promised $50,000 for renovations
At the June 5 city commission meeting in Carrabelle, Tamara Allen, president of Carrabelle’s Historical Society, said the Waterfront Partnership has been awarded a $50,000 grant to fund phase II of the restoration of the museum building, formerly city hall. She said the money will be used the seal the exterior plaster and paint the building.
Allen said she has contacted a “high level paint contractor from Tallahassee” for an estimate.
County to purchase more Eastpoint waterfront
At their June 3 meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to purchase a sliver of land on the Eastpoint waterfront located between the Eastpoint Pavilion and the Patton Drive Boat Ramp.
The owner, David Diehl offered the property for sale. The county will pay the assessed value of the land, $9,720, with funds from capital outlay.
This parcel is a wedge with some 60 feet of waterfront. The county will now have 350 feet of waterfront with this purchase.
County Planner Alan Pierce said the cost is roughly equal to the amount received from the Eastpoint Minimart for an encroachment onto county land in the same area, so in some sense that will balance out the withdrawal from capital outlay.
County to hire temporary office worker
County commissioners voted unanimously to let the planning office hire a temporary worker for August and September, since one of the front staff will be out for six to eight weeks with knee replacement and another staff person has some extended time they will be off.
The temporary worker will not receive any benefits and will be paid the same as other part-time workers at $10 an hour.
Emerald Warrior granted a discount
County commissioners voted unanimously to reduce the amount Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting (VATC) must pay for leasing the former Bay City Work Camp.
VATC wrote the county to say that although they had leased the facility for 12 days earlier this spring, they had only used it for six days due to bad weather. Commissioners voted unanimously to charge them for nine days of use.
Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce said VATC had not used the facility for the full span. He said they were late in picking up the keys.
Pierce suggested that in the future, a clause be included in contracts to lease the facility stating county policy in the event of bad weather.
Lighthouse association elects new board
Officers and directors of the St. George Lighthouse Association were elected at the annual meeting held in Lighthouse Park on May 22.
Officers for 2014 are Dennis Barnell, president; Jim Kemp, vice president; Terry Kemp, secretary; and Phyllis Vitale-Lewis, treasurer.
Directors are Brant Banks, Dennis Barnell, Vito Bell, Bud Hayes, Bob Heide, Jim Kemp, Terry Kemp, Fred Stanley, and Phyllis Vitale-Lewis.
Brant Banks, the newest board member, is a resident of Apalachicola and teaches history at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School. Outgoing directors are Richard Saucer and Kristy Branch Banks.
At the annual meeting, Barnell introduced new Lighthouse Keeper Mark Vail, who succeeds retiring Keeper Stanley Colvin. In his report at the meeting, Vail said that visitation to the Lighthouse in 2013 was up by about 10 percent over previous years.
More than 92,000 people have climbed the Lighthouse since its opening in Dec. 2008.
Gift Shop Manager Carol Talley announced the successful implementation of a Quick Books Point of Sale system, and invited members to browse the new summer merchandise in the shop.
Secretary Terry Kemp reported that as of the annual meeting date, SGLA membership stands at about 450 members.
Volunteers needed at lighthouse museum
The St. George Lighthouse association has vacancies for docents at the Lighthouse Museum.
Docents perform a valuable service by educating visitors about the lighthouse, answering questions about the island, and preserving order in a small space. Docents can volunteer for a regular weekly shift, generally three hours, or fill in as their time is available.
To volunteer, call 927-7745.