This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
More than 3,600 Palatka residents will see their garbage pickup go from twice a week to once a week for 90 days. Palatka City Commissioners during a special called meeting Friday evening unanimously approved what they termed a trial run. Unclear is what if any savings residents will see on their bills. The commission several years ago voted to automatically increase sewer, water and garbage by up to 10 percent each year. They’re expected to increase sewer and water by six percent at their regular meeting Thursday. Not yet determined is how much garbage pick up costs will increase. Business owners will continue to get pickup five to six times a week.
Good news in Flagler and St. Johns counties. The piers there have been declared structurally sound following Hurricane Dorian. People were making use of them this weekend at Flagler Beach and St. Augustine Beach. Temporary closures had been ordered until structural checks could take place.
Apparently in a mood for change Palatka City Commissioners are again pushing to move the city hall, fire, police and sanitation offices to the western edges of Palatka, nearly to Francis. They’ve attempted this before, proposing to buy 7100 PRC Way in the Putnam County Business Park. Public pushback led that deal to fall through but commissioners are again going after the same facility. They’ve already put a debt service payment into the city ‘s still-to-be-approved 2019-20 budget. Buying and building out the structure would cost $4 million dollars. The issue comes up at their regular meeting this Thursday.
At least for now a proposed development by Guana Reserve has halted. Ponte Vedra Corporation says they’ll hold off building 66 homes on 74 acres of conserved private land for three years. The area is known as The Outpost, and area residents have been fighting the development, which is amid the Guana Reserve in St. Johns County.
A Palm Coast man died early Saturday morning in a single-car accident at the Palm Coast Parkway exit on I-95. William Earl Carden, 37, was driving north on I-95 just before 1 a.m. when as he approached the 289 exit he swerved toward the exit ramp. According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, Carden cut off another vehicle, over-corrected to his left and the car began rotating counterclockwise on the grass shoulder. It overturned several times, coming to rest on its roof.
If you’re traveling in South Putnam County today remember the railroad crossing at East Buffalo Bluff Road will be closed from 8 p.m. tonight to 4 a.m. Tuesday. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will have a deputy directing traffic. In Palatka North Moody Road is scheduled to close for several weeks as gas lines are run. Detours are on State Road 19.
St. Augustine successfully celebrated its 454th anniversary Saturday but they had an unexpected visitor. An airplane flew overhead pulling a banner proclaiming: “1. Pensacola 2. St. Augustine.” It’s a reminder of a longtime dispute with Pensacola which claims their town is the oldest in the nation since it was founded in 1559 and St. Augustine didn’t come into being until 1565. However, as some historians remind people, the Pensacola settlement didn’t make it the first time, losing their supplies after about a month to a hurricane. St. Augustine did continue after its founding and thus is proclaimed as the oldest continuously occupied city in America. The banner was funded by a GoFundMe account started by a brewery owner in Pensacola.