Bay Community School hosts art show Friday

Bay Community School, a community based pre-school in Apalachicola, is hosting its Art Show and Silent Auction this Friday, May 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and the Arts Center, on Water Street. All the artwork is done by the children. Come and have dinner prepared by Tamara's Café and have fun while supporting a great cause. Tickets are $20/person for dinner and drinks.

Bay Community School is also looking for community sponsors to help supplement the cost for the event. Individual and/or business sponsorships are $100 and include a dinner ticket and you will be recognized at the event and on our website, .

Founded in 1996, Bay Community School has provided quality childcare and pre-school services to children ages 2 to 5. Located at 269 Fred Meyer St. in Apalachicola, it is not-for-profit center that meets the needs of a diverse population of families in Franklin County. The teachers are certified and it provides the State VPK (Volunteer Pre-Kindergarten) to 4 year olds. Proceeds from this event help cover the basic costs of running the school.


Putt-Masters tourney set for May 31

May 31 marks the fourth annual Putt-Masters Tournament, the signature fundraiser that benefits the Franklin County Public Library. Some 20 plus businesses, groups, and individuals sponsor four-person teams, which tee off at noon and play throughout the afternoon. After the tourney ends at 5 p.m., there will be a ceremony to see who will take home Green Champ caps and a beautiful trophy. The competition is serious for some. Many returning teams have improved their "putt" over the years. Others just play for fun and enjoy good food, drink, and the company of friends.

The Red Pirate Family Grill and Oyster Bar in Eastpoint hosts the event, where owners Shirley and Jimmy Sapp provide a beautiful 18-hole course with a water feature for an entire afternoon of putting fun! Players, fans, and library supporters can quench their thirst and enjoy delicious food while having fun and raising money for our library.

Various levels of sponsorship are available. If you would like to participate or volunteer, contact your library branch to reach a Friend of the Franklin County Public Library. In Carrabelle call 697-2366 or in Eastpoint call 670-8151, or contact Anna Carmichael, (850) 273-1174,

 The library is a vital county resource. The services provided are free, but funding is limited. The Friends of Franklin County Public Library is proud to help fund both the Carrabelle and Eastpoint branches of our public library system. Without help from businesses and individuals throughout the community and their participation in our efforts, this would not be possible.

Books, e-books, games, CDs, DVDs, audio-books, free Wi-Fi, computers and computer classes, youth programs, community meeting rooms complete with a smart board, are just a few of the services you will find at your public library. Go visit your local branch to see what’s happening, you will be proud as well.


Guardian Ad Litem offices moving

 In a recent meeting Debra Moore, Guardian Ad Litem circuit director, informed Director of Administrative Services Alan Pierce that the supervision for the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) program will be switching to Panama City from Tallahassee.

She also said GAL would comply with the county commission’s request for a 2 percent reduction in its budget request.


Governor Stone to get more restoration

The Governor Stone, a National Historic Landmark built in 1877, began a new chapter in her history on Monday.

The Friends of the Governor Stone are dedicated to preserving the vessel and continuing to share her history and beauty with the communities of the northern Gulf Coast. In order to do this, the Governor Stone traveled by tow to Diberville, Mississippi for additional restoration work by Master Boat Builder Bill Holland, who has done work on the Governor Stone in the past and was a valuable consultant for just completed restoration project.

“The Governor Stone is a national treasure, a living museum that must be preserved and maintained for future generations,” said Friends of the Governor Stone President, Katie Cherry. “The tours and opportunities to sail on this vessel return us to a time in history that can only be appreciated by actually experiencing the wind in the sails.”

The trip to Mississippi will cover 193 nautical miles over a period of at least four 4 days with overnight stops at The Landing in Ft. Walton Beach, Pensacola Yacht Club and Gulf Shores Marina along the way. Once Holland completes repairs at his boatyard. the Governor Stone will sail back to her homeport of St. Andrews.

The 136-year-old Gulf Coast Bay Schooner underwent an eight-month historical restoration that was completed in March at the Bay County Boatyard in Panama City. The restoration work was completed by local craftsmen and volunteers and restored her appearance to a more accurate representation of her look when she was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Governor Stone is owned and supported by the Friends of the Governor Stone, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit volunteer organization. Please visit or our Facebook page Governor Stone.


Franklin is “Purple Heart County”

At the May 20 county meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to recognize Franklin County as a “Purple Heart County” in honor of the large number of decorated veterans living in Franklin County.

Chairman Cheryl Sanders suggested the county invite all residents who have won a Purple Heart to visit a commission meeting.


Funds sought for online county map

At the May 20 meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to re-apply for a technical assistance grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for $25,000 to create an online county GIS map to assist in the public accessing the flood insurance maps, and other planning layers.

The county applied for the project last year and was not chosen for funding.


Lake Morality contracts awarded

At Tuesday’s county meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to award the contract to add signage and re-mark Lake Morality Road to Southern States Pavement Markings, Inc. of St. Augustine.

The cost of the work is $58,557. Southern States was the only company that bid on the project.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to award Preble-Rish Engineers of Port St. Joe the contract for construction, engineering and inspection on the Lake Morality project.

All fees will be paid out of Florida Department of Transportation funds.


Commission orders maintenance for SGI fishing pier

At the May 20 meeting, county commissioners unanimously voted to earmark up to $6,000 for the re-staining and maintenance of the handicap entrance ramp to the St. George Island Fishing Pier, and up to $6,000 for the staining and maintenance of the recently re-constructed section of fishing pier. Both projects will come out of the St. George Island Bridge Maintenance Fund..

County Planner Alan Pierce said the projects are necessary to maintain the wooden structures exposed to the sun and salt air. He said the newly constructed portion would be refurbished first. He said that work on the pier had been postponed due to wet weather.


Update on the SHIP program

On May 20, County Planner Alan Pierce told county commissioners the proposed legislative budget contains $350,000 for the Franklin County State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) program. He said this is the first time in several years the program has been fully funded.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to use up to $5,000 to repair a roof damaged in recent heavy rains.

Pierce said Governor Scott issued an executive emergency order that allows Lori Switzer, SHIP coordinator, to receive applications from qualified residents whose houses have been damaged. SHIP has received one application for a roof repair and the cap on the amount of funds is $5,000. Repairs will be paid for with money set aside for hurricane damage last year. The funds are available because there were no storms.


Simpler Built wins visitor center bid

At the May 20 meeting, county commissioners voted to award a bid for renovation of the old state highway patrol building in Eastpoint to Simpler Built of Tallahassee for their bid of $65,657.

Commissioner Noah Lockley opposed the decision. R.W. Thomas Construction of Eastpoint submitted a bid of $75,000.

Lockley asked if the county had approached R.W. Thomas to negotiate his fee. The commissioner said he would prefer a local contractor do the work.

Chairman Cheryl Sanders said the county needed to observe normal business practices when processing bids to avoid the appearance of unfairness.


Benson awarded HVAC contract

At the recommendation of architect Warren Emo, on Tuesday, county commissioners voted unanimously to award a contract to replace the north HVAC unit on the main courthouse to Benson’s Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., of Tallahassee.

The replacement will be paid for out of the courthouse maintenance fund.