The Voice of the Gem City

November 19, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County School Board holds their reorganization meeting today at 3:30 p.m. Sandra Gilyard currently is board chair. Members normally vote to rotate the position yearly. Today’s action will come during a meeting that also includes annual appointments of board members to act as the district’s representatives on a variety of committees and councils.

Traffic continues to be a bugaboo for St. Augustine. Monday some residents had their say at a State Department of Transportation open house looking  at proposed changes on U.S. 1 in St. Augustine from State Road 207 to the City Gate of St. Augustine. The $14 million project would close medians at Rhode and Grove avenues and Everett and Daniels streets plus do away with street parking on 1 and put in protected bike paths. Adding to the angst the work would begin in Dec. 2020, in the midst of Nights of Lights, a major tourism attraction.  The new proposal comes even as business people at May Street and San Marco Avenue are coping with the modified roundabout in the area which leads over to Vilano Beach. The roundabout is not proving popular, and some say it’s not doing anything to help traffic problems.

On Interstate 95 in St. Johns County, land clearing  is underway for the Texas-size Buc-ee’s gas and convenience store near World Golf Village. Despite concerns about traffic congestion and safety by some residents, the company out of Texas has moved forward and says the 104 pump, 392 parking space, 53,000-square-foot convenience store should be up and running in about a year.

A golf tournament benefitting South Putnam Christian Service Center is set for Dec. 7 at the Oaks Golf Club. Officials hope to make the Dan McNutt Memorial Golf Tournament an annual event. For more information or to register, call Barbara Quinnell 386-524-4143.

Another cell tower is expected to go up in Palm Coast by the Frieda Zamba municipal pool next to Wadsworth Elementary School. Palm Coast City Council is voting on a lease at today’s meeting. Sections P and W are expected to benefit most from the new tower, which would be the fourth to go up in the last 18 months. This one will be a 150-foot monopole.

Flagler County is offering the former owners of the Sears building off Palm Coast Parkway a chance to buy their building back. County commissioners Monday voted unanimously to offer the building back to a group include the seller, realtor, engineering firm and insurers who were involved in the deal. If they don’t, commissioners have indicated they’re ready to file lawsuits. The $1.25 million purchase in November 2018 was to offer a new location for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Operation Center, which had to move out of its Bunnell location because of health issues related to the building. Then it turned out the former Sears building had water intrusion and other damage. County officials say the seller knew that and should have informed them.

November marks Manatee Awareness Month and it’s the time of year the sea cows are on the move searching for warmer weathers. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants people to be on the alert to help keep the manatees safe. Florida has gone to great lengths to get manatees off the endangered list and listed as a threatened species. As of today number of manatees in Florida has grown to at least 7,520. If you see and injured, orphaned, entangled or distressed manatee, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.

 

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