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Category archives for: Flagler County Commission

No Thanks: Bunnell Votes 4-1 to Return Old Courthouse to the County, Citing Costs and Liabilities

| April 15, 2014

The stunning reversal culminates months of doubt and disappointment about the building on city officials’ part as they discovered a structure in more serious disrepair than the county had let on and tallied far more expensive bills ahead than the city could afford, if it were to keep the building.

On Again: Carver Center Auction Opens Bids for Safaris, Bowling, Pizza in a Commissioner’s Home (BYOB) and More

| April 10, 2014

The popular Carver Center Online Auction is back for the fourth year, with some 67 items to bid on through the rest of the month as Bunnell’s Carver Center foundation hopes to yet again raise at least $5,000. It has done so quite successfully in previous years.

Open Skateboard Rinks to Scooters and Bikes? County and Flagler Beach Propose More Permissive Rules at Wadsworth

| April 9, 2014

The proposal is dividing officials and parents, some of whom like the broader allowance, some of whom consider it an invitation to accidents and lawsuits. The Flagler County Commission got in on the discussion earlier this week because the park belongs to the county, though it’s been run and policed by Flagler Beach for 10 years.

Lifelong Republican Turned independent: Howard Holley Launches All-Business Bid For County Commission

| April 1, 2014

Howard Holley, a Hammock business executive, would face Flagler County Commissioner Frank Meeker in November if Meeker doesn’t have a primary opponent, no black candidate and no independent candidate has ever won a county commission seat.

Now Leery of Old Courthouse, Bunnell Fears Money Pit and Talks of Giving It Back

| March 25, 2014

With two commissioners ready to give back the old courthouse to the county, Bunnell opted Monday to get more solid bids on what it would cost the city to turn the problematic building into its city hall, but the city administration drew a bleak picture of finances that cannot bear new burdens regardless.

Flagler Favors Getting Into Cottage Business in County Parks, Starting at Princess Place

| March 18, 2014

The twin proposals would result in three cottages at the Princess Place Preserve costing $390,000. and 10 cottages at River to Sea costing close to $1 million. Profits would be modest, but the county’s aim is to broaden the availability of nature tourism in Flagler.

How County Engineer Faith Alkhatib Saved Taxpayers $600,000 and Returned 12 Acres to Palm Coast and Flagler

| March 7, 2014

County Engineer Faith Alkhatib detected a recent state rule change that enabled a redesign of the coming Matanzas Woods Parkway interchange with I-95, netting a $600,000 saving and the return of 6 acres to Palm Coast and 6 acres to the county.

Palm Coast Scrambles To Right Its Way After Discovery That Bulldog Drive Is a County Road

| March 5, 2014

Palm Coast has never owned Bulldog Drive, a county road since 1956, though the city is widening the street, has acquired land alongside it and has engaged in an epic battle with business owner Gus Ajram as if the right of way were Palm Coast’s. City and county are speeding toward formalizing the city’s ownership.

Flagler-Based Family Life Center Will Provide Rape-Exam Services, Ending Year of Failures Under Children’s Advocacy Center

| March 3, 2014

The Children’s Advocacy Center failures came to light last spring when it failed to provide a certified nurse following a rape, forcing the victim to wait for hours. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will administer the contract, awarded to Palm Coast and Bunnell-based Family Life Center. which says it has Flagler-based nurses to provide exams when needed.

Ronald Reagan Republicans Launch Campaigns In Every Local Flagler Race, Signaling Insurgency Against GOP Incumbents

| February 18, 2014

Six candidates introduced themselves Monday evening, including two for school board, two for the Palm Coast City Council, and two for the Flagler County Commission. Six of the seven are running against incumbent Republicans, suggesting that the Triple-R’s are looking to be the insurgent candidates of this election cycle—against their own party.

Flagler’s Vacation Rental Reform Bill Advances Through 2 Committees, Buoying Chances

| February 5, 2014

The proposed reform of a law that would return control of short-term rental regulations to counties and cities gained additional support at the Legislature Tuesday as it cleared a second Senate committee and its first House committee with solid backing.

Woody’s BBQ Owners Take On New Restaurant at Bull Creek Camp, With County as Landlord

| February 3, 2014

The Flagler County Commission unanimously approved leasing the restaurant and bait shop at Bull Creek Campground for $1,000 a month to JMC Food Company, a consortium of three partners who run Woody’s B-B-Q in Palm Coast, including Matt Crews, Joe Rizzo and Chris Zwirn. The restaurant opens in spring.

As Walkers and Cyclists Complain of Predatory Drivers at Belle Terre and SR100, Officials Call For More Education

| January 15, 2014

The dangerous intersection at State Road 100 and Belle Terre Parkway focused discussions by county and city officials this week about more safety improvements, starting with making drivers more respectful of pedestrians and cyclists–a shift many drivers are resisting.

A Billboard Crashes Down on A1A and Flagler Makes a Little History as “Goodliest Land”

| January 13, 2014

The demolition and permanent removal of the massive billboard in a ceremony Monday afternoon is the first of up to 10 billboards the county bought and will have removed by 2016 as part of a deal to diminish visual blight along the scenic highway.

In a Victory for Flagler, Senate Measure Restoring Local Authority to Regulate Vacation Rentals Moves Ahead, With Long Way to Go

| January 10, 2014

The proposal has a long way to go. It hasn’t yet been heard in the House, and must still clear several committees in the Senate before it reaches the Senate floor—if it does. It can die along the way. But Sen. John Thrasher’s backing is no small momentum, nor is Thursday’s 8-0 committee vote, including five Republicans and three Democrats.

Again Breaking a Pledge, Children’s Advocacy Center Sets Ultimatum On Rape-Crisis Intervention as Top Cops Scramble

| January 9, 2014

The Children Advocacy Center’s promise in July to provide rape-crisis exams to adults in Flagler and Volusia counties turned out to be relatively hollow, and was followed by an ultimatum that the CAC would get out of the business altogether by June, triggering a furiously critical response from State Attorney R.J. Larizza, Sheriff Manfre and other local top cops.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

Two Years In, Tourism Director Georgia Turner Is Leaving Flagler For Native Alabama

| December 5, 2013

Georgia Turner, the county’s radiant tourism director who oversaw Flagler’s and Palm Coast’s realignment as niche sports destinations, a steady rise in tourism-tax revenue and a first-ever working coalition of local arts groups, is leaving after just two years on the job. Personal, not political, reasons led her to the decision.

As County Library’s Purpose Changes, Commissioners Examine Expansion Plans

| December 3, 2013

Flagler County Library Director Holly Albanese led county commissioners on a tour of the main branch Tuesday morning in hopes of persuading them to soon approve expansion plans in line with the library’s changing mission.

County Rejects Donations of Flagler Estates Lots, Seeing No Public Purpose in Acquisition

| December 2, 2013

A divided commission rejected the proposal, 3-2, with Nate McLaughlin leading an adamant opposition that showed no interest in bailing out private property owners who made poor investments, or setting the county on a course that has no clear objective.

A Divided Bunnell Accepts Old Courthouse Despite Mounting Questions About Mold and Other Issues

| November 26, 2013

The 3-2 vote of the Bunnell City Commission was fraught with questions about the conditions of the 49,700 square foot building, which is in serious disrepair, shows evidence of leaks and possibly mold, and may cost upward of $5 million to be functional again, though Bunnell says nit would only refurbish a portion of it at a lower cost.

Bunnell’s Burden: A Photo Gallery of the Old Flagler County Courthouse and Annex

| November 26, 2013

A 50-image photo gallery provides the first comprehensive inside look at the conditions of the old Flagler County Courthouse and annex, which Bunnell acquired at no cost on Nov. 26. But the city is now responsible for all repair and maintenance costs of both attached structures. The costs will be heavy.

Gentle Warning Beep as Flagler’s $10 Million Emergency Radio System Approaches Its End

| November 5, 2013

It’s less than eight years since Flagler spent $10 million to upgrade its county-wide communications to an 800 MHz system, to which some 1,500 radios from police, fire, municipal and county agencies are attached. That system is set to reach its official life’s end in 2017, requiring county government to start now to examine how it will replace it, and how it’ll pay for the replacement.

County Sharpens Its Authority to Close Public Lands, But Not Without Commission Input

| November 4, 2013

County Administrator Craig Coffey formalized authority to close certain public lands, including Bulow Woods, Pellicer Flats and the old hospital in Bunnell, either for safety reasons or as lands are undergoing construction or conservation. Trespassers may be arrested. Commissioners wanted to ensure that the administrator would not close lands without their knowledge.

Nothing Flagler Can Do About Divisive Vacation Rentals, Attorney General Bondi Confirms

| October 24, 2013

The expedited Attorney General’s opinion cited Flagler County’s own absence of regulation of vacation rentals before 2011 as one reason the county’s hands are tied in controlling what has become a center of conflict for permanent residents of the Hammock. Since 2011, a state law prevents local governments from imposing new regulations.

Under Pressure from Sheriff and Fire Chiefs, County Heralds Emergency Management Changes

| October 22, 2013

Troy Harper, Flagler County’s emergency management director for the past four years, has resigned and will be replaced by Ken Guthrie, who was hired in September, leading to speculation at the time that Harper was on his way out. Harper denied it then.

Bowing to Hammock, Thrasher and Hutson Will File Bills to Restore Vacation-Rental Regulations

| October 16, 2013

Sen. John Thrasher and Rep. Travis Hutson made their pledge to repeal the vacation-rental law during the annual legislative delegation meeting in Flagler Wednesday, which drew more than a full house because of that controversial issue. But repeal is unlikely as the 2011 law, which makes it easier to operate a house as a mini-hotel, passed the Senate unanimously, and the House overwhelmingly.

Town Hall Road Show: Residents Grill 4 Local Governments’ Heads in Freewheeling Forum

| October 9, 2013

A 90-minute town hall forum brought some 50 people to the Palm Coast Community Center to grill and hear Flagler County Commission Chairman Nate McLaughlin, Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre, School Board Chairman Andy Dance, and Palm Coast City Council member Jason DeLorenzo address a long list of public concerns in a rare and informal cross-agency discussion.

A Tiff, and Broader Implications, In County’s Hope of Eliminating Voter Voice in Economic Development

| October 7, 2013

In a reflection of government-backed economic development’s dim luster, Flagler County want to eliminate voters’ role in giving local governments authority to extend tax breaks to companies. That proposal led to a clash Monday between government critic Dennis McDonald and Commissioner Barbara Revels.

Flagler County Buys 276 Minutes on Electronic Billboard Near Times Square, for $15,000

| October 4, 2013

The 10-second spot will run once an hour, 18 times a day, through Jan. 2, on a billboard on 42nd Street, four and a half blocks south of Times Square, and is paid for half by the county’s tourism bed tax and half by the general fund, through the economic development department.

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