Today at the Editor’s glance: The three-member East Flagler Mosquito Control District Board would normally meets at 10 a.m. at District Headquarters, 210 Airport Executive Drive today, but that meeting has been pushed to September 27 at 6 p.m., paired with a 5 p.m. budget- and tax-rate-adoption meeting. (Mosquito district taxes are expected to rise 14 percent.) The Flagler County Commission holds trio of meetings today. The first, at 9 a.m., is a formality to postpone what was supposed to be a public hearing on the school district’s proposed schedule of new impact fees. The County Commission, hearing almost exclusively from builders and Realtors, unexpectedly turned hostile to the school board’s proposal last week when school officials presented the new schedule to the commission. The commission must approve the schedule if only because the county collects the revenue before passing it on to the district. The workshop and subsequent hearings should have been a mere formality. The commission instead decided to act as judge and jury of the district’s impact fees, though no government does likewise when the county chooses to raise its impact fees–as the county commission plans to do. It’s all the result of a new state law that requires local governments to show “extraordinary circumstances” when they raise impact fees more than 50 percent. The district is doing so because a previous school board unwisely raised its impact fees too little in 2005, and hasn’t touched them since. The district is in a bit of a catch-22 situation, with non record of a surge in student population that would argue for a doubling of impact fees, except projections that anticipate that surge. So the builders are not without fairly strong arguments of their own, but that’s a separate issue from the county playing the deity. Checks and balances are a great idea, but not when they’re one-sided. What this comes down to is more back-channel negotiations ahead, and a 2 p.m. October 18 workshop on impact fees, by a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. on November 2. It also means that the district’s hope of having the new impact fees kick in on Jan. 1 will not be met, as law requires a 90-day lag between the last public hearing and the first fee imposition. See: “School District’s Request to Double Impact Fees Turns Into Hostile Inquisition by County Commission and Builders” and “In ‘Huge Deal,’ Flagler School Board Votes to Double Impact Fees on New Construction, 1st Increase in 16 Years.” That quick workshop will be followed with a 10 a.m. meeting of the commission, when the clerk of court will make a request for additional funds. Commissioners will be asked to re-appoint Mark Langello, a builder, to the county’s planning board for a three-year term. And commissioner will be asked to approve a $16 million appropriation for phase 2 of the construction of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s new headquarters in Bunnell. That’s in addition to the $2.9 million the commission approved in June. In the public-hearing segment of the meeting, commissioners will be asked to approve the installation of a 155-acre solar-panel farm North of East End Road and East of Yelvington Road at the very far northwestern edge of Flagler County. At 5 p.m., the commission will convene again for the second and final public hearing on the adoption of its property tax and budget for the coming fiscal year. Royal Palms Parkway Closure: Royal Palms Parkway from Belle Terre Parkway to Rickenbacker Drive will continue to be closed–and likely will be so for a couple of weeks–after a contractor reported that a storm water pipe collapsed while he was preforming maintenance on September 16th. The collapsing of the pipe has created unsafe driving condition and an emergency structural repair is needed on this portion of Royal Palms Parkway. Traffic traveling eastbound from US-1 will be detoured to Rickenbacker Drive to reach Belle Terre Parkway.
Health Department’s Covid Testing and Vaccination Schedule and Information through Sept. 25:
Priority will be given to any students, faculty and school staff of public or private schools in Flagler County, followed by the general public, who should schedule testing appointments by calling 386-437-7350 ext. 0.
Monday, September 20 8AM to 11AM
Tuesday, September 21 8AM to 11AM
Wednesday, September 22 8AM to 11AM
Thursday, September 23 8AM to 11AM
Friday, September 24 8AM to 11AM
Saturday, September 25 CLOSED
Sunday, September 26 CLOSED
Please consider the following when testing with DOH-Flagler.
* Testing should take place at least 3 to 5 days after exposure. Testing sooner than this may result in false negatives.
* This is NOT a drive-through test site. You will park and walk into the Cattleman’s Hall where testing takes place.
* Wear a mask inside the testing facility. Should you test positive, you may be asked to exit the facility and wait for the rest of your party outside to avoid transmission.
* DOH staff continue to work extended hours to keep up with the contact tracing and case investigation. We appreciate your ongoing patience. It may take time for DOH to reach individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Take initiative to isolate for at least ten days and encourage close contacts to watch for symptoms.
* If you are identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive, you may not hear from the health department if resources are not available.
* If you have been vaccinated (two weeks after your final dose) you will not need to quarantine if you do not have symptoms.
* If you have symptoms, get tested as soon as possible.
* Students will need to quarantine at least four days after the date of exposure.
Monoclonal Antibody Treatments are now available in Flagler County at Daytona State College’s Palm Coast Campus. Monoclonal Antibody Treatments (MAB) for COVID-19 can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death among high-risk individuals. Individuals 12 years and older who are high-risk, that have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19, are eligible for this treatment. Treatment is free.
Vaccinations continue to be offered at 301 Dr. Carter Blvd on Mondays from 3:30 to 6:00PM. Appointments are preferred; Walk-ins are welcome. The health department is awaiting guidance for the administration of booster doses. CVS, Walgreens, Publix and Walmart are offering boosters to immunocompromised individuals.
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Palm Coast Historical Society: Carrie Ayvar on More Than Orange Blossoms: Feisty, Fabulous Females of Florida
For the full calendar, go here.