Putt Masters tourney Saturday

The Friends of Franklin County Public Library will hold the third annual Putt Masters Mini Golf Tournament hosted by Red Pirate Family Grill in Eastpoint on Saturday, April 20 at noon.

Live Music, special food and drink prices and lots of fun while more than 20 teams from the local community compete. Proceeds benefit the Franklin County Public Library in Eastpoint and Carrabelle.


Weems to be closed April 22

Weems Medical Center West (Apalachicola) will be closed on Monday, April 22. However Weems Medical Center East in Carrabelle will be open that day. Normal hours will resume for Weems Medical Center West on Tuesday, April 23. We will not have extended hours Monday, April 22 through Thursday, April 25 at Weems Medical Center East.


Carrabelle hosts Riverfront Royalty pageant

The first ever Miss Carrabelle Riverfront Royalty Pageant will be held Saturday, April 20 at 4 p.m. at the Carrabelle Municipal Complex. The pageant is open to newborns to age 19.

Junior and Senior girls will have a mandatory interview at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the pageant. All proceeds go to the Barbara Massey Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

For further information, please call Christopher Massey at 850-443-1251.


TIGERS present housing workshop April 25

The TIGERS program along with ACE Hardware and IGA is sponsoring part three of their “No Place Like Home” workshops on Thursday, April 25 at the TIGERS site, behind the former Apalachicola High School building.

From 2:30-3:30 p.m. Budget and Finance workshops will be conducted by Centennial Bank. These series of programs are free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

If you are a provider of services please feel free to contact Carol Barfield at the number listed below. For further information please contact her at 653-2784.


Special election planned for VFDs

St. George Island and Alligator Point fire departments have contacted the Supervisor of Elections, Ida Eliot, to organize a special election by property owners in those two fire districts to determine if the property owners will approve a rate increase from $50 to $95 on houses. The assessment on vacant land will not change. The election will be mail-out ballot, with the ballots counted on May 14.

Only property owners on Alligator Point and St. George Island will be voting on whether to change the rates within those two districts only.

The fire departments are paying for the election. Approximately 6,000 ballots should be mailed out April 25. They cannot be mailed out more than 20 days before the election.

At the March 19 county meeting, Commissioner Cheryl Sanders said, “We will be behind whatever happens but if it doesn’t come down, I want to make that perfectly clear that it will be two years (before Alligator Point and St. George Island can vote on this again).


Commission considers Eastpoint Water and Sewer requests

On March 19, county commissioners voted unanimously to allow Eastpoint Sewer and Water District (EWSD) to cut C.C. Land Road at times approved by the county to allow for several new sewer connections.

County Planner Alan Pierce told commissioners C.C. Land Road is under design for widening and resurfacing and the sewer force main that serves the eastern end of the district is under the asphalt. He said three known customers need to be connected to sewer before the road is re-surfaced.

The cuts will serve the Gulfview Trailer Park that is currently on septic tanks, the new RV park under construction, and property owned by the Madsen family. There may be one or two additional cuts that need to be made in this same area.

“Eastpoint will be responsible for making the cuts, patching and compacting the base material in accordance with DOT standards, allowing the county to pave the road and the cuts all at the same time,” Pierce said. “The county will not let Eastpoint cut the road until after the board opens the bids for paving as Preble-Rish wants to make sure that there is not a problem with the bids, and to minimize the time there is an open cut.”

The one exception for this will be the new RV park, if it is ready to go on-line before the county opens the bids. The new RV park must have sewer to open and with the force main under the road the road must be cut in order to make the connection.”

“Make sure all the cuts are made before we repair that road,” said Commissioner William Massey.

Pierce said the existing septic tanks will be decommissioned in accordance with state law.

At the same meeting, Pierce distributed a letter from the water and sewer district to Sheriff Mike Mock and Solid Waste Director Fonda Davis advising them of the severely degraded condition of the sewer lift station that serves the jail and the landfill. The district said that the lift station is a county responsibility, and wrote that “the district has continued to help service and make minor repairs to your dedicated lift station; however, the EWSD is not in a financial position to make the necessary repairs your station needs…”

The letter included a quote of $34,000 in repairs needed on the lift station.

Pierce said he advised EWSD Administrator George Allen that the lift station is a part of the Eastpoint system, just like any other lift station, and EWSD is responsible for the operation and maintenance of its equipment.

“We have been paying sewer fees for 25 years and the district has yet to provide me with any documents indicating the county agreed to maintain the lift station,” Pierce said.

The board took no immediate action on the request.


Budget meeting for April 22

Clerk of Courts Marcia Johnson has scheduled a budget workshop for county commissioners on Monday, April 22, at 10 a.m. in the main courtroom in the courthouse. The focus of the workshop will be a discussion by the commission on proposed expenditures for next year.

There are no state estimates on revenues yet, and Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper has not finished her assessment. She is expecting to have her preliminary numbers by June 1.

Commissioners asked Johnson and Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce to notify constitutional officers, department heads, the hospital advisory board and, the health department of the meeting.

Chairman Cheryl Sanders said the board wants to be informed of big capital outlays that may need to be addressed in the upcoming budget.



Photographer seeks wooden shrimp boats

Fine art photographer John E Adams is planning to visit Franklin County as part of his latest project, “Evanescent Trawlers of the South,” a photography study of the rapidly disappearing hand crafted wooden shrimp fishing trawlers. Adams is an award-winning fine art photographer from Fernandina Beach.

“Northern Florida used to have some of the largest trawler building ports in the Southeast for many years, now those skills have long passed and the only reminder remaining of this amazing heritage are a small scattering of rapidly declining vessels spread throughout the Southern shrimping regions and ports,” said Adams.

“Evanescent Trawlers of the South,” will consist of future exhibits and a book featuring as many of the remaining handmade wooden shrimping trawlers as can be located. The project plans include traveling over 4,400 miles from the Carolinas to Louisiana to try and capture and preserve images of remaining wooden trawlers. Adams expects to capture process the final prints and book before the end of the August.

To learn more about the project, please contact Adams at (904) 729-8175 or at Thepres6@hotmail.com or visit www.kickstarter.com/projects


Airport drainage issues to be addressed

County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $10,800 task order at the Apalachicola Regional Airport for work assessing the drainage system to be done by AVCON, the county’s airport engineers. DOT grant funds will pay the full amount. After the assessment is done, the Airport Committee will take recommendations on fixing the drainage system since a portion of it has failed. There is $400,000 already awarded the county to fix the drainage system at the airport.


County issues herbicide guidelines

At the request of Transfield Services, the firm that maintains the state right-of-way in the county, the county commission has issued a memo instructing Transfield on the use of herbicides.

The herbicide used is the most environmentally friendly, and safest, and appropriate for the application area per federal/state guidelines.

Transfield or any other approved agent keep accurate and up-to-date herbicide applications logs for auditing purposes and any employee of Transfield or any other FDOT approved agent applying chemicals must be an approved and licensed herbicide applicator as outlined in Florida Statues.

The recommendations were prepared by Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce and County Extension Agent Bill Mahan.


Carrabelle honors volunteers

At the April 4 meeting, Carrabelle commissioners made three proclamations. April was officially designated as both “Water Conservation Month” and “Clean Up Carrabelle Month” and the week of April 21-27 was officially designated as “National Volunteer Week” by the city.


Carrabelle historic preservation project complete

Renovations to the old Carrabelle City Hall, now the Carrabelle History Museum are complete. The work was funded by a $50,000 Historic Preservation Grant.

The work included combining two small existing restrooms into one Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant facility.

The electrical system of the building received a total upgrade and new lighting was installed on the first floor. Historical Society President Tamara Allen said the new track lighting has already received many compliments. In addition, the entry to the museum has been upgraded with an ADC compliant access ramp.