Enjoy FCAT Family Night Tuesday

The Franklin County School will host a FCAT Family Night, for grades 3-12 on Tuesday, March 19 at 6 p.m. Please join us for family activities, dinner, and prize giveaways, including gas cards, gift cards, and more.


Learn basics of photography at Gulf-Franklin

The emphasis of this class, to be held Monday, March 25 at the Gulf-Franklin Center, is to have fun getting to know your camera, be it digital or film.  You will learn to use the funny symbols (icons) and controls on this wonderful tool, including the secret of taking photos of moving objects, using tripods, manual modes, apertures, shutter speeds, night photography and special techniques to turn your snapshots into masterpieces / works of art.

The XCE0063 course, taught by professional photographer Bonnie Jones, an adjunct instructor at Gulf Coast State College, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room C-103. Fee is $21.

For more info, call 850-227-9670


Child Find pre-K screenings April 11

Franklin County Schools and FDLRS/PAEC (Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System/ Panhandle Area Educational Consortium) will co-sponsor a free Child Find Pre-K Screening on Thursday, April 11. Each child will be screened in the areas of learning, speech, social, vision, and hearing for the purpose of identifying children with disabilities.  Children ages 3-4 who are suspected to have a disability and are not enrolled in Headstart or public school are eligible to participate. Parent or guardians must call (866) 277-6616 to schedule an appointment.


GulfCoastholds theatre scholarship auditions

The Visual & Performing Arts Division of Gulf Coast State College will hold theatre scholarship auditions for the 2013-14 academic year on Wednesday, April 3. Anyone is welcome to audition, but students need to have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Applicants should come prepared with the following materials, depending on the performing arts track in which they have an interest:

• For Acting:  Two contrasting monologues not to exceed three minutes.

• For Musical Theatre:  One monologue and 16 bars of a song, along with sheet music or an accompaniment track without vocals.

• For Directing/Stage Management/Design:  Their portfolio, resume and a sample of work if available. Applicants will sit for a technical interview as well.

Auditions will be held in the Theatre Lab, room 152 of the Amelia G. Tapper Center for the Arts, April 3, 4 to 6 p.m. To help prepare for the auditions, students may also attend a workshop on Monday, March 18, from 2 - 4 p.m. in the Theatre Lab.

For more information, please contact Jason Hedden at jhedden@gulfcoast.edu or (850) 769-1551 ext. 2889.


Flood insurance discount received

At their Feb. 19 meeting, Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce provided the board with copy of FEMA letter verifying Franklin County property owners are receiving a 15 percent discount on flood insurance premiums. This discount has already been applied to current premiums by the National Flood Insurance Program.


Five DOT landscape grants approved

 The Department of Transportation has notified the county that it has reserved funds for five landscaping grants, each at $10,000, if the county wants to participate.  The sites must be within the US 98 right of way, and should have access to irrigation.  The county commission first discussed these projects over six months ago and now funds have become available:  The sites chosen are US 98 and Heffernan Drive in Lanark Village, Carrabelle Beach Wayside Park, US 98 and Patton Drive in Eastpoint, the base of the bridge in Apalachicola, and Lombardi Park at Two Mile west of Apalachicola. The county will be required to maintain whatever is planted.

County Planner Alan Pierce said the county doesn’t need to seek bids for the landscape installation and materials. He said, since the funds are limited, commissioners may wish to seek volunteer help with site design.

Commissioner Pinki Jackel said she would begin planning for the Patton Drive site immediately.


Final SHIP funds to be distributed

On March 5, County Planner Alan Pierce told commissioners $60,000 in reserve State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funds must be encumbered by June 30 or they will revert to the state. 

He said County SHIP Director Lori Switzer had a waiting list for emergency repairs but she needed board authorization to spend the money.  By the SHIP guidelines the money must be spent on houses, not mobile homes.

Commissioners voted unanimously to instruct Switzer to spend equal portions of the money in each county district.

Commissioner Cheryl ?Sanders said, “I don’t want to pick (the recipients), but I would like to see it equally distributed.”

Pierce said this is the last SHIP funding unless the legislature votes to dedicate more funding to the program.


Pamphlets to be added at Panama City Airport

On Tuesday, March 5, county commissioners voted unanimously to increase payment to the Panama City Airport from $580 to $700 monthly, to create enough space to allowing promotional pamphlets to be included in a display promoting county tourism.

The display is maintained by the Tourist Development Council (TDC). The change amends the remaining seven years and three months of a 10-year contract.

Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce said the TDC discontinued a similar display at the Tallahassee airport but maintains display at welcome centers around the state.

Commissioner Pinki Jackel, who currently represents the county commission on the TDC, said the cost of the display was modest compared to larger regional airports.


Two county leases approved

At their regular March 5 meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to approve two leases for county buildings.

One was the proposed aircraft hanger lease with TP Transport. TP Transport initially asked the county to construct a new hanger but will now occupy the existing aircraft maintenance hanger southeast of the fixed base operator. instead of a new hanger. Because the existing hanger has no office area, the county may construct an office, subject to the availability of grant funds.

 The second is a renewed lease for the current Supervisor of Elections office on Avenue F. Under recommendation form the county attorney,  the county reserves the right to terminate the lease upon six months notice to the landlord and will only be responsible for "minor" repairs, such as the plumbing and HVAC, defined as any repair less than $250.00 for parts and labor.

The landlord would be responsible for all other repairs.