This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Tonight’s agenda for the Palatka City Commission includes updates regarding buying Jenkins Middle School as a new city hall, upgrading the school’s gymnasium which the city has already bought and again negotiating regarding the water taxi operation services with Palatka Boathouse Marina. Also on the agenda a public hearing on designating the entire city a Brownfield Area. Brownfields are environmentally impacted properties such as old dry cleaners, gas stations and industrial properties. An example would be the former Florida Furniture property. Residential property also would get the designation. After the hearing the commission votes on the issue. A second hearing and second and final reading are scheduled for February. Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.
Putnam County students are out of school today and Friday. Teachers are working with a planning day today and inservice training Friday. On Monday students and teachers throughout the state are out of school for M. L. King Jr. Day. In Palatka plans are underway for a parade and activities.
An upswing in Omicron COVID case numbers in St. Johns County has the school district cancelling tonight’s St. Johns High School Showcase at World Golf Village Renaissance Resort. The showcase annually introduces eighth graders to the specialty career academies at the district’s high schools. The fairs will be held at individual schools in upcoming weeks.
Sen. Travis Hutson (R-St. Augustine) is getting pushback from governments over his bill that requires cities and counties to come up with a “business impact statement” before passing ordinances that businesses say will harm them. Opponents say it’s another example of trying to limit the authority of local governments.
Tonight is the second community forum on the state of Putnam County schools. Superintendent Rick Surrency and some district officials will be at the Crescent City Junior-Senior High School Cafeteria from 6-8 p.m. to take questions and provide updates on COVID-19 and heath services, the 2021-26 strategic plan, the revitalization plan and student discipline. The meeting is also available on Zoom.
If you’re headed to St. Augustine beaches, be aware portions of the Pope Road parking lot on Anastasia Island are temporarily closed. A retaining wall replacement project began Wednesday and is scheduled through Feb. 21. Beach access remains open, but parking is limited.
Enjoy live music and find out about the history of Palatka’s community bands during the Putnam County Historical Society’s Saturday meeting at the Bronson-Mulholland House, 100 Madison St., Palatka. The Putnam County Community Band, made up of local musicians, will play during a program beginning at 11 a.m. Light refreshments will be served. Outdoor seating is available or you can view the program on Zoom.
Also Saturday the Palatka Art League holds a sale including one-of-a-kind original art works plus Christmas items at the Tilghman House, 324 River St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.