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12-Year Effort to “Renourish” Beaches All But Washes Out as County Urges Wall of Dunes Instead

| August 7, 2017

Flagler County is urging Flagler Beach to sign on to a $20 million plan to rebuild dunes on top of a wall of rock, though most of that money has yet to be secured.

County Votes To Buy Two Properties for $900,000 Even Though Appraisals, Still Due, May Be Lower

| August 7, 2017

Flagler County commissioners, in a puzzling vote today, approved buying two parcels for a library and a future use even though the appraisals on the properties have not come in, and may be lower than the price paid.

Flagler’s Oddly Sunny Hurricane Matthew After-Action Report Draws Criticism From Its Own Emergency Staff

| June 21, 2017

The much-anticipated report was written by the administration, not the emergency management staff, and conveys more of an error-prone, fluffy public relations approach than rigorous and factual analysis.

Behind County Plaint That Relations With Palm Coast “Suck,” a History of Rancor and Cooperation

| June 12, 2017

It’s been five years since Palm Coast and Flagler County governments met jointly, but they have a poor history of it, preferring to work behind the scenes on key issues.

In Big Victory For Flagler (and St. Johns), Rep. Renner Delivers $13.3 Million For Dunes Restoration

| May 9, 2017

The $13.3 million has yet to be split between the two counties, but will go a long distance to alleviate Flagler’s $22 million dune restoration needs, with local sources kicking in several million dollars.

Flagler Increases Tourism Tax to 5%, Benefiting Beach Fix, Then More Promotions

| March 21, 2017

The first two years of new revenue will swell the beach-repair fund by $2.5 million, settling back down to $500,000 thereafter, when the promotions revenue will rise to $1.5 million a year.

O’Brien Beach-Funding Proposal Prevails, And Flagler Beach Gets $2 Million Pledge

| March 20, 2017

County Commissioner Donald O’Brien’s proposal to shift more money toward beach restoration prevailed today in a joint meeting of the County Commission and the county’s tourism board, and the county administrator pledged to allocate $2 million to Flagler Beach’s needs.

Flagler Tourism “Promotions” Slush Fund Jumps 76% in 3 Years, And We’re Counting Pennies For Beach Repairs?

| March 20, 2017

Paying for critical repairs to Flagler County’s beaches is hostages to a tourism budget’s scandalous and unaccountable promotions spending, which the county administration wants to increase despite the emergency.

O’Brien Surprise: Commissioner Agrees To Higher Tourism Tax, But With Beach Twist

| March 6, 2017

County Commissioner Donald O’Brien today was willing to raise the county’s tourism tax to 5 percent, but to further increase revenue for beach restoration, and, for a year, lower revenue for promotions.

Council Endorses Raising Flagler’s Tourism Tax to 5% to Pay For Beach Repairs

| February 20, 2017

The tourist sales surtax tax is applied to hotels, motels and short-term rentals, and would increase beach-restoration revenue to $2.25 million over the next three years.

Flagler County May Be Out $2 Million as FEMA and State Deny Hurricane Reimbursements

| February 7, 2017

FEMA denied $1.1 million in Flagler claims for debris pick-up, the state is not providing a match the county expected, and the county has yet to hear on millions more in claims to FEMA.

Commissioners Uneasy With Flagler’s Bail-Out of Agriculture Museum and New 400-Acre Park

| February 6, 2017

Flagler County government would pay off an $185,000 museum mortgage and grant it $25,000 a year while acquiring more than 400 acres of the museum’s land, calling it an “extension” of Princess Place Preserve.

County Breaks Ground on 5,500-ft Runway at Airport to Accommodate Larger Corporate Jets

| February 6, 2017

The $12.1 million project will be carried out over the next 350 days at Flagler County Executive Airport. It will also create new space at the north end of the airport for more building construction.

Gov. Scott Visiting With Flagler Commissioners Friday But County Keeps Meeting Veiled

| January 26, 2017

As has been the case with previous such visits, the Flagler County administration did not send out notices about the governor’s visit to the county Friday, morning, his fourth since Hurricane Matthew struck.

Rift Opens Between County and Flagler Beach Over Dunes Fix; County Depletes TDC Fund

| January 23, 2017

Flagler County commissioners agreed today to deplete a $1.5 million fund for beach management as part of a match to draw down state dollars, but none of the money would benefit Flagler Beach, angering officials there.

Craig Coffey, Jim Landon, Now Dan Davis: For 3rd Time in 2 Years, Top Manager’s Raise Request Is Rebuffed

| January 12, 2017

Bunnell’s Dan Davis this week joined Palm Coast’s Jim Landon and Flagler’s Craig Coffey, all of whose elected boards rejected their raise requests in the past two years, though Davis and Coffey still got smaller raises.

Numerous Concerns, Elusive Certainties as Flagler Beach and County Governments Talk Beach Renovation

| January 3, 2017

Assurances Flagler Beach was looking for–that there would be no sea walls anywhere, that the city’s beaches would have priority–proved elusive in a joint meeting with county government.

Flagler Seeks to Raise County’s Tourism Sales Surtax to 5% to Help Pay for Beach Restoration

| December 21, 2016

The 4 percent surtax currently generates $2 million a year. An extra penny would add $500,000, but there are differences over whether all the added revenue should go to beach restoration or whether some should go to marketing the county.

In Flagler Beach Again, Sen. Nelson Conveys Feds’ Message on Beach Fix: No Seawalls

| December 12, 2016

Sen. Bill Nelson was back in Flagler Beach to tout the passage of a water bill that includes authorization for $15.6 million in federal beach renourishment dollars for Flagler County. But it’s conditional on the state not building sea walls.

Flagler County Approves 6-Month Moratorium on Medical Pot Dispensaries or Facilities

| December 5, 2016

Flagler County commissioners said the moratorium is not intended to counter the constitutional amendment legalizing medical pot, but to give the county time to figure out what zoning and other regulations may be in place with legalization.

County’s Tourism Office Seeks a Blank Check Of $150,000, and No-Bid Award of $130,000

| December 4, 2016

The spending authorizations depart in one way or another from county or tourism council policy and underscore to what extent the paper trail behind tourism office spending has been thinning out over the past two years.

Not What Flagler’s Battered Beaches Need: Elevated “Super-Tide” Again Places Properties and Dunes in Danger

| November 4, 2016

A super-tide expected Saturday along the beaches, with 5 to 7-foot breakers and water levels 1 to 1.5 feet above tide levels, concerns county officials who have been scrambling to protect breached dunes and properties damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

Jennifer Stagg, Flagler’s Embattled Emergency Planner, Survives Firing as Hearing Exposes Deeper Problems

| November 3, 2016

Jennifer Stagg, will be suspended five days without pay, but her hearing exposed deeper problems at the county’s emergency management operations that have little or nothing to do with her.

In a Surprise Visit, Gov. Scott Tells Flagler Officials He’ll Expedite Regulatory Hold-Ups on Shore Repairs

| October 31, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott held a 25-minute closed-door meeting with county and city officials in Bunnell today to assess the response to Hurricane Matthew and assure officials that he’ll help them through regulatory hurdles in continuing recovery efforts, especially on the barrier island.

Flagler County Agrees to Bail Out Ag Museum Despite $150,000 Deficit and Barnful of Unanswered Questions

| October 21, 2016

After a vote failed to take-over the failing museum entirely, Flagler County commissioners agreed to a generous 90-day bailout, pending a more detailed agreement that would enable the county to absorb the 460-acre property yet leave the museum board at least nominally in place.

Sen. Bill Nelson, in Flagler Beach, Pledges to Kick “Posteriors” to Channel Repair Dollars for Road and Beach

| October 19, 2016

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the latest in a string of state and federal officials to visit the damaged Barrier Island, stressed support for a re-nourished beach and a rebuilt A1A with federal dollars covering 75 to 90 percent of the cost.

FEMA Finally Broadens Emergency Declaration to Include Homeowners; Flagler Beach Re-Opens Beaches Wednesday

| October 18, 2016

FEMA’s declaration will let homeowners claim up to $33,000 in repair or recovery expenses attributed to Hurricane Matthew. The beaches in Flagler Beach will reopen from North 4th Street to South 8th Street on Wednesday, and go further after the weekend.

16 Years, 3 Generals and a Water War Later, Army National Guard Center Breaks Ground at Flagler Airport

| October 14, 2016

The new National Guard center will house 30 to 40 people and a revolving corps of 100 to 200 weekend reservists, the equivalent of a significant new company’s economic impact. And this one won’t go under or go back on its promises.

At Painters Hill and Washington Oaks, Crumbling Houses and a Devastated Treasure Beyond the Public Eye

| October 13, 2016

Here’s the first look at destruction not seen before: how Hurricane Matthew left houses on Painters Hill uninhabitable, and demolished and unrecognizably remade Washington Oaks Garden State Park’s beach-side park. With video.

For Commissioner Frank Meeker, a Tribute From the Hearts of a Decade’s Colleagues

| August 1, 2016

For an hour Monday morning, Meeker’s closest colleagues remembered the man death surprised at 61 on July 22, themselves not yet over the shock of having lost him after seen him in that seat just 16 days before his death.

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