Supporters of saving Fish Island in St. Augustine are urging people to contact Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet before their Thursday meeting. Fish Island, which is on the right side of the 312 bridge as you head toward Anastasia Island is one of three properties being considered for purchase with Florida Forever conservation funds. The three properties total 717 acres, will cost a total of about $11 million and are in Wakulla, Charlotte and St. Johns counties.
Palatka City Commission had a welcome guest at Thursday’s meeting. Jim Troiano with St. Johns River Water Management District was on hand to present a $1.5 million check. The money is for the storm water improvement project in the South Historic District.
Palatka City Commissioners voted Thursday to keep their millage rate for the 2019-2020 budget year at 6.4 mills. Do expect to see an increase in residential garbage rates. Current collection fee is $16.65 per month. That’s going up $2.35 or about 14 percent.
Beverly Beach in Flagler County will be going back to using the garbage and trash collection services of Flagler Beach. Last October they switched to private contractor Waste Pro, which provides services for Palm Coast and Flagler County. Continuing complaints from residents led to the decision to return to Flagler Beach’s garbage haulers.
Hurricane preparedness lists often include generators, one of the more costly items if you’re looking to ride out storms and aftermaths. In Putnam County the Sheriff’s Office has received multiple reports of generators being stolen from homes throughout the county. Latest were from Union Grove Cemetery Road in the Palatka area and Beulah Church Road in the Welaka area. As the Sheriff’s Office explains: “This is not the appropriate way to prepare for a hurricane and we are looking for the thief/thieves.”
Georgia-Pacific’s Palatka plant is continuing normal operations after what’s described as an isolated incident in the tissue manufacturing area Wednesday. Spokesman Mark Brown said local fire departments were called in for assistance when smoke was reported in the area. The smoke was later determined to have been caused by smoldering dust in part of an enclosed ceiling area. No injuries and no major damage were reported. Brown said GP was grateful for the support of local fire departments and local responders “who constantly demonstrate a dedication to serving our community.”
Arts Council of Greater Palatka holds an open house today for Ocala artist Nancy Fazio whose new exhibit is at the Larimer Center on Reid Street. The free open house is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. On River Street the Palatka Art League holds a three-day Christmas in July sale today through Sunday at the Tilghman House. Area artists and crafters are featured.
In Putnam County, the Sheriff’s Office is trying to find who a couple of roamers belong to. A pinto pony and a donkey were found in the Ashley Lake area in Melrose on July 12. If you can help, call Ag deputy Donny Jordan at 386-329-0800.
Another Yankee has moved to St. Augustine, although this one came reluctantly. Chance the Snapper, who got his name from Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper, quickly became a celebrity after being seen in the lagoon at Humboldt Park in Chicago. He’s even got his own t-shirt and Bobblehead statue. Gator trapper Frank Robb who went up from Florida to catch the four-foot gator ended up becoming a celebrity himself including getting to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field Tuesday night as the Chicago Cubs hosted the Cincinnati Reds. Chance, meanwhile, is enjoying his own celebrity at his new home, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. He’s in a separate pond at the moment as park officials check out his health.