The Voice of the Gem City

October 28, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Construction on the Dunn’s Creek Bridge on U.S. 17 in Palatka means the  channel is closed all of today. Beams are being suspended overhead and may pose a risk to boaters. Tuesday through Friday the horizontal bridge clearance is reduce by 50 percent for staging equipment and performing work. State Department of Transportation says the work is part of the U.S. 17 widening project from Horse Landing Road to the northern approach of the Dunn’s Creek Bridge. GLF Construction began the $36.5 million widening project in February 2018 and is expected to complete the construction by summer 2021.

In Palatka work along Ninth Street aka Crill Avenue at the St. Johns Avenue intersection is expected to be at least partially completed in time for Boo on the Avenue Thursday. That’s when kids will be showing off their Halloween costumes and enjoying candy from merchants. Palatka officials say DOT officials say the intersection work should be completed in time for the Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade.

St. Augustine City Commission tonight again takes up the issue of whether the public should continue electing the mayor or if that should be up to commissioners. The issue came up at the last meeting but due to the length of other items was continued to this week. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in The Alcazar Room.

On Tuesday a public forum on affordable housing is being hosted by the Flagler Housing for All Coalition. The 5:30 p.m. meeting will be at the Flagler County Association of Realtors. Up for discussion regarding the SHIP program – what affordable housing is, the need for it in Flagler County and the challenges that have to be overcome.

Palatka High School’s robotics team placed in the top 10 at a competition over the weekend. The Palatka RoboPanthers competed in the First Tech Challenge/ Bishop Kenny Bowl in Jacksonville.

Come Valentine’s Day Putnam County will be hosting another professional bass fishing tournament. Fishing League Worldwide and Major League Fishing are expanding the FLW series and Palatka will benefit with up to 300 anglers expected for the Feb. 13-15 tournament.

Crescent City is once again looking for another city manager after the individual selected withdrew her application Friday. Michele Myers, a local businesswoman,  told the commission her decision as contract negotiations were under way. She had been selected by a 3-2 vote and some continued questioning her experience and suitability. The consultant hired by the city had recommended a candidate from Utah.

Good news for St. Augustine residents – an improvement in the city’s flood rating could lower premiums home owners pay for flood insurance. Federal Emergency Management Administration says the Community Rating System for St. Augustine has increased from a Class 7 to a Class 5 rating. The rating is good for three years and could mean as much as a 25 percent drop in premium costs.

The Palatka-based Bartram Trail Society of Florida gained some clout during the annual Bartram Trail Conference in Montgomery, Ala., this past weekend. Sam Carr is the new president of the group, Ken and Janice Mahaffey are treasurers and Dean Campbell is now a director.

 

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