Palm Coast and Flagler County government this week adopted their budgets and tax rates for the 2023-24 fiscal year with little controversy and so few people in the audience at final hearings that you could count them on one hand. The county raised taxes, the city kept its taxes flat. Palm Coast going back to the rolled back rate was not unique, as some council members claimed or thought.
Flagler County Commission
Flagler County and city officials inaugurated the formal opening of the $12.3 million pedestrian bridge over State Road 100, five years in the making, with speeches and a dedicatory run by the Flagler Palm Coast High School track team. But its leading champion, Faith al-Khatib, was absent.
The joint local government committee of county and city representatives that met for the second time approached at arm’s length Palm Coast City Council member Theresa Pontieri’s proposal that Palm Coast annex into the city the county beach and access at Malacompra Road.
In a startling proposal that may revive city-Hammock conflicts dormant since the mid 2000s, Palm Coast City Council member Theresa Pontieri on Tuesday said the city should consider annexing the county’s Malacompra Park so Palm Coast can have its own beach. The idea did not get a warm reception from fellow council members or others.
A month after St. Johns County did so, the Flagler County Commission last week banned all floating structures used on county rivers, lakes or inlets “like a neighborhood convenience store on the water,” as a county memo describes them, and that the county considers unregulated nuisances that at times damage the surrounding ecology.
Thirteen years ago, after much controversy, the Flagler Beach City Commission banned bonfires on the beach during turtle season. Beverly Beach and Marineland have similar bans. But it was only on Monday that the ban extended to the rest of the county’s beaches–18 miles of shoreline in all–as the County Commission voted 5-0 to approve an ordinance.
The tin-tented, recently rust-painted and frequently derided pedestrian bridge over State Road 100 will get its public grand opening celebration the afternoon of September 19. A coat of darkening chemicals was applied to the tipi-like stainless steel tent over the bridge to diminish its reflection’s almost blinding effect at sunup and sundown, depending on which direction one was traveling.
Claude Sisco Deen, Flagler County’s premier archivist and a leading historian of local families and culture, died Thursday evening in Palm Coast a little after sunset. He had been the research maven behind Flagler County’s centennial in 2017, was that year’s Flagler County Veteran of the Year, and built unparalleled databases of local family histories and historical documents.
Flagler County government’s Holly Albanese organized a Celebration of Life of former County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen, who died on July 31. The celebration was held in the commission’s chamber last Tuesday, where some three dozen colleagues and friends and two of Ericksen’s sons attended, some of whom speaking with poignancy and candor.
Are Flagler County’s public schools adding students? Will the district need to build new schools? Should it be drawing money from developers today even though it has no certain plans to build schools yet? Those questions were asked and answered with varying degrees of certainty and a lot more disagreements on Thursday in the latest meeting of a joint committee of local government representatives in charge of reviewing how much money developers are required to pay to defray the cost of new school construction.