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.
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.
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.
Arthur Jones, Bunnell’s police chief for four years until 2012 and a founder of the Alliance of Involved Ministries who relished his role as a mentor to children and youth, has died. He was 61.
An old house hooked to a demolition order and the property it sits on at 401 East Moody Boulevard are suddenly at the center of a clash between a city commission and residents looking to preserve—if not define—the city’s character along its main east-west road on one hand, and the property rights of its residents on the other. That battle may be determined by how the issues surrounding the house and the property are resolved.
The 75,000 to $80,000 position to replace Armando Martinez was advertised barely two weeks, but it’s drawn 36 applicants from 26 states and the District of Columbia, with the balance—47 applicants—from Florida, a dozen of them from Flagler County.
It’s not that there isn’t a homelessness problem in Flagler and Bunnell, but while numerous and at times generous services are being provided, minor conflicts targeting some homeless people in Bunnell are disproportionately affecting the debate, and draining attention from what’s being done to help.
It was a costly, day-long project involving personnel from four city departments, including police, on a house already facing a $50,000 lien, but officials defended forcibly cleaning up the property on Deen Road at taxpayers’ expense, saying it was a matter of maintaining property values. The case shows the extent–and limits–of code enforcement’s growing authority.
Kaenin Brinkley, 18, and Jasmine Lampley, 19, were driving their respective vehicles, Lampley with a 13-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy on board, when the two vehicles collided and one overturned, though no one was injured. Segments of U.S.1 and SR100 were briefly closed in mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Bunnell established its 800-acre downtown redevelopment zone in 2007, assuming that most tax revenue generated there could then be reinvested in the area to reinvigorate it. Instead, property values fell $26 million in the zone, forcing the city to rethink the CRA’s viability.