The Voice of the Gem City

News October 21, 2021

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County commissioners are working toward a Tuesday deadline to have all new redistricting lines drawn. Earlier this week Commissioner Larry Harvey was before the Putnam School Board to show redrawn districts. While the school board makes its own decision, traditionally members follow the districts drawn out for the county commission, Harvey said. Districts are redrawn every 10 years based on population counts from the U.S. Census conducted every 10 years. Harvey said the redrawn districts are within 118 people of each being equal. Some slight shifts are included including Bardin no longer being divided between two commissioners. Also changing is District 1 because of expected growth in southern Putnam County. Putnam came out about 1,000 fewer people than in 2010; however, questions have been raised regarding counts in 17 Florida counties.

An expansion of SilverLeaf development in northwest St. Johns County is headed for state review. St. Johns County commissioners earlier this week voted 4-0 to move the major addition of a possible 5,600 homes to the state for review. Once it comes back, the county will hold a final vote. Developers want to change the land use for nearly 2,400 acres in order to put in the additional houses and more commercial development. Concerns have been raised particularly regarding traffic and roadways.

Covid-19 numbers continue to drop meaning some groups are resuming activities. In Flagler County, several big events will be back on for the first time in almost two years including Flagler Beach’s First Friday, Holiday Parade and holiday lighting ceremony at the pier. First Friday will return on Dec. 3 to downtown. Flagler Auditorium is also starting up its 2021-22 season, kicking off Nov. 19 with a Frankie Valli tribute aptly titled “Let’s Hang On.” After two seasons of greatly reduced productions, officials are announcing a 17-show new season for the Palm Coast venue.

A reminder students in Putnam County are enjoying a holiday today and Friday. Teachers, meanwhile, are having an in-service work day today. Superintendent Rick Surrency at the recent board meeting said while protocols continue to be followed a substantial drop in Covid-19 cases has been seen. As of Tuesday only six students were reported with Covid and no school employees.

Coming up this weekend a Feed the Need of Putnam County fund-raiser. The second annual Fall Bash features Disco Nights at the Putnam County Shrine Club in East Palatka from 7-11 p.m. Entertainment is by The Boogie Freaks. Money raised goes to help make sure Putnam students have food over the weekends.

Today don’t worry about fixing dinner — San Mateo Presbyterian Church is back to cooking. They’ll be serving up fried chicken dinners from 4 p.m. until food runs out. You can dine in or take out. Cost is $10 person and Bill Futch is frying up the chicken. 

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