This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Putnam County’s Angela TenBroeck has been chosen Florida’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture. She got the call about the honor from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Angela has made a tremendous contribution to our state with her commitment to sustainability, decreasing food insecurity and improving communities across Florida. She is a true inspiration to women in the agricultural industry and we are so proud to honor her with this award,” Fried said in a release released today. TenBroeck oversees a hydroponic operation in the Federal Point area with tilapia a major crop. A fourth generation farmer, she is founder and CEO of Worldwide Aquaponics.
Florida Highway Patrol reports a 60-year-old Port Orange woman was critically injured in a motorcycle crash Friday in Putnam County. The woman was a passenger on the bike that was traveling east on County Road 308 in South Putnam when a dog ran into the road. The motorcyclist lost control and the female rider went off the bike. She was taken to Orange Park Medical Center in Clay County.
Palatka recreation programs and activities will be discussed at a special workshop today. Some Palatka city commissioners will be at the 6 p.m. meeting at the Price-Martin Center, 220 N. 11th St., next to the train depot. No action will be taken at the workshop hosted by the Community Affairs Department, which oversees recreation. Among items expected to be discussed is the former Jenkins Middle School gymnasium. The city during the summer bought the gym and has plans for recreation programs there, although renovations have delayed opening.
Palatka officials don’t plan to restart their impact fees for at least eight months. The decision at last Thursday’s Palatka City Commission meeting wasn’t unanimous — Commissioner Willie Jones voted against it. City officials said a new study needed to be done regarding setting impact fees. Jones told them that study should have been started eight months ago. Some questions were raised as to whether the study needed to be done before reinstating fees since the fee was only put on hold originally and not cancelled completely. For a time it looked as if Commissioner Rufus Borom would also vote against the delay, but he ended up following the rest of the commission. It was pointed out at least two development groups with a total of 63 parcels of land are looking at sites. One of the groups is currently building three “affordable housing” residences and is talking about building 14 more in the near future. Although city officials said fees such as the fire fee would help cover the costs, the rest has to be absorbed by current taxpayers. Impact fees paid by developers are a way to help offset the impact of new construction on infrasturcture. Flagler County last week increased its impact fees.
Flagler Beach Commission has given the go-ahead for a revolving loan of up to $17.6 million to rebuild and expand the city’s sewer plant. The plant has been in operation since the 1970s. Commissioners got a bit of sticker shock since because of inflation the price was up more than $2 million from when costs estimates were presented in June.