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Lighthouse to get repairs in January

Special to the Times

In October members of the St. George Lighthouse Association attended the Florida Lighthouse Association meeting in Pensacola, a chance to meet new friends and to tour the Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.

Smiling with the "big check" are, from left, Amy Hodson, executive director of the St. George Lighthouse Association; Cheryl Jewell, administrative assistant, St. George Lighthouse Association; and Jon Hill, president of the Florida Lighthouse Association and executive director of the Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum

The St. George Lighthouse Association is pleased to have received a $24,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association to assist in some much-needed repairs needed to our lighthouse. The lighthouse has several broken glass panes and significant rust on the bird cage of the lantern room and the masonry tower also requires some cleaning and painting.

The lighthouse projected videos at Saturday evening's Christmas event

Amy Hodson, executive director of the association said they have contracted with Razorback, LLC out of Tarpon Springs to handle the specialized repairs and the work is scheduled to begin in January. The scope of work includes removing all of the glass and sandblasting and painting the bird cage with a special three-paint process.

After the rust mitigation and sandblasting of the bird cage is complete, all new glass will be installed with enhanced window glazing and new rubber gasketing systems. The masonry tower will also be cleaned and painted during this timeframe.

The lighthouse will be closed for the month of January and potentially into the beginning of February to complete these repairs but our museum and gift shop will remain open. The total cost for the repairs is $94,000.

The $24,000 grant comes from the Florida Lighthouse Association’s Gene Oakes License Plate Fund. This grant program is funded entirely by the Visit Our Lights license plate and used only for the preservation of Florida’s historic lighthouse stations.

Over $180,000 in grants were awarded to Florida lighthouses through this program in 2020.

The Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 to promote and preserve Florida’s historic lighthouses. FLA’s mission is to safeguard Florida’s remaining lighthouses for future generations by supporting community-based restoration, preservation, and education efforts. Financial support comes from charitable gifts, membership dues, and Florida state specialty license plate sales. FLA does not receive government funding.

To learn more about FLA, visit www.FloridaLighthouses.org We can’t thank the Florida Lighthouse Association enough for their continued support in helping to keep Florida’s lights shining!

"Here at the Cape St. George Lighthouse we have navigated a very challenging year and are ready for 2021 to be upon us," said Hodson. "Through COVID-19 and closures we have remained steadfast in our mission in educating the public about the history and importance of our lighthouse and by creating a positive experience for all those who visit us.

"We appreciate all who have visited us over the last few months and supported us through their climbing fees, donations, memberships, and purchases from our gift shop. You have kept us going in this very trying time and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support," she said.