Palatka’s mayor says the city commission will be voting on the future of city hall in two weeks. The decision came after a brief discussion at Thursday’s meeting while two of the commission were absent. Mayor Terrell Hill said the current city hall on Second Street is outdated and doesn’t have needed modern enhancements. A presentation on a former call center building at the Putnam County Industrial Park included plans showing how it could be renovated to include the city hall, police department and sanitation department, which are currently housed at three location. No cost figures were presented although last year a price of $1.5 million for the building was cited with several million more for needed upgrades and expansions. Hill says west is the direction the city is growing because that’s been the largest concentration of growth – several apartment complexes are located there. Vice Mayor Mary Lawson Brown didn’t commit to a decision and after the meeting Commissioner Rufus Borum said he wanted a more methodical approach to the decision. Commissioner Tammy McCaskill was out sick. Commissioner Justin Campbell, who works for the school district, was called away from the meeting because of a problem at one of the county’s schools.
Good news in Flagler County – the week-long Thanksgiving vacation holiday is still in effect for schools. Hurricane Dorian caused schools to be closed for three days, cutting into the school year. In recent years extra minutes have been added into the length of school days to help with such closings. Only one day will be needed to make up the difference. Oct. 14 is the first available hurricane make-up day. It was to be a teacher work day.
Good news in Palatka – the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series is coming back to Palatka and the St. Johns River. The tournament attracts some of the nation’s best anglers and it’s the third time in five years the series has been in the river town. Putnam County Chamber of Commerce has been angling for the four-day tournament, which has an estimated $2 million impact on the area’s economy.
Not so good news in St. Augustine – looks like the carousel at Davenport Park next to the main library will indeed be leaving after this weekend. Following the death of the owner last week, his widow told city commissioners she plans to dismantle it and take it to Port Charlotte. Officials are trying to work out a deal to keep the popular attraction where children ride for $1.
In Putnam County Mary Kay Engelking has filed her intent to seek election to the Board of County Commission, District 5 in the 2020 election cycle, according to the Putnam Supervisor of Elections Office. District 5 is currently held by Buddy Goddard.
Former Palatka police officer and school administrator and one-time sheriff’s candidate Reno Fells was arrested Wednesday by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office during a prostitution sting. Fells allegedly made contact with what turned out to be an undercover officer through an internet/escort advertisement and the two met at a hotel. His arrest comes less than three weeks after former Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy was arrested in Volusia County, accused of slapping his girlfriend.
Tonight is Harvest Moon on Friday the 13th. It’s an event that only happens about every 20 years. Last time was Oct. 12, 2000. Next time it’s due is Aug. 13, 2049.
The Flagler Beach Museum has gotten in the spirit holding a Museum Moondance fundraiser tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Oceanside Beach Bar and Grille in Flagler Beach. The museum benefit features music by Rob Edward Peck and The Matanzas Allstars, decadent hors d’oeuvres and dreamy desserts.
On Saturday Flagler Auditorium holds The Ultimate Aldean, a tribute to country superstar Jason Aldean.
In St. Augustine it’s the second weekend of what’s being billed as the largest free music festival in Florida. Sing Out Load will feature nearly 300 acts during weekends in the month of September at venues including the Colonial Quarter, downtown St. Augustine and the St. Augustine Amphitheater.
In Putnam County, Crescent City residents hold a fundraiser Saturday to help Gloria Povlich, a resident who has been heavily involved in the community, with medical expenses. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Eva Lyon Park downtown a variety of events are going on including a walk-a-thon, auction of a pig, live music kid zone with pony rides, bake sale and cake walk.
First Presbyterian Church in Crescent City offers a hymn sing and ice cream social from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. You can enjoy old time religion through fellowship, food and song.
The Woman’s Club of Palatka hosts a low country boil on Saturday with Rio Grande Band providing live music. It’s happening at the Woman’s Club off Crill Avenue.