DOT beautification funding approved

On May 21, the county commission voted unanimously to accept funding for roadside beautification from the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT).

At the March 5 county meeting, County Planner Alan Pierce told commissioners $50,000 in DOT funding was available for roadside plantings to beautify the right of way along US 98. A $10,000 budget was earmarked for each county district. The DOT grant specified that money be limited to plants and “plant support materials,” like irrigation.

Pierce specified that each site be furnished with irrigation to support the new plantings. The grant required that half the funding be used for large plant material, i.e. five gallon containers or larger.

Two of the sites chosen, US 98 and Hefernan Drive in Lanark Village and Island Drive in Eastpoint will be planted with large specimen palms.

Three other sites, Carrabelle Beach Wayside Park, Seafood Workers County Park west of Apalachicola and the lawn of the county courthouse, designed by Nikki Millender, director of parks and recreation, will be planted with shrubs and perennials supporting migrating birds and butterflies.

Pierce said the county has a year to complete the plantings and he anticipates planting will occur this fall.


Oyster harvesting licenses now on sale

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is selling the Apalachicola Bay Oyster Harvesting License. In order to harvest oysters from the Apalachicola Bay System beginning July 1, 2013, you must purchase this license before June 28. The cost of the license remains at $100 for Florida residents. (The cost for non-residents is $500 if purchased before June 28.)

 Please bring a check or money order for this amount made payable to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (F.D.A.C.S). No cash will be accepted. As a public service, we are also selling the FWC Saltwater Products License (SPL) in conjunction with the Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license. You will receive your SPL for free upon purchase of your oyster harvesting license. If you renew your license after Friday, June 28, you will have to pay an additional $500 late fee.

Please note: The Shellfish Center in Apalachicola is currently undergoing renovation and no staff are on-site.

To renew your license from now through June 14, please come to our temporary office in Eastpoint (350 Carroll Street), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To accommodate the higher volume of harvesters seeking the license during the last two weeks of the sales period, June 17 through June 28, license sales will be held at the DEP ANERR building located at 261 Dr. Frederick S. Humphries Street in Apalachicola, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding the purchase of your license you may call the FDACS office, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 670-1114.