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County Briefs

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Flood prevention 

ordinance OK'd

The Levy County Commission held a public hearing during its Oct. 16 meeting and no one commented on the measure that passed by a 5-0 vote. 

The new article in the ordinance regulates flood damage prevention, including adopting flood hazard maps and adopting procedures and criteria for development in floodplain hazard areas. One change requires buildings and structures in flood hazard areas to have the lowest floor elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus 1 foot or the design flood elevation, whichever is higher. 

In areas of shallow flooding the structures must be elevated at least as high as the adjacent grade plus one foot or at least 3 feet. Previously it had been 2 feet. 

“We're going to be elevating mobile homes in flood zones a little bit higher,” County Development Department Director Rob Corbitt said. He said the changes would also be of interest in areas like Rosewood. “If you know it (the land) to be 12 feet above sea level you would have to go to 13 feet (to build),” he said. 

 

Union contract ratified

County Coordinator Fred Moody said the impasse in talks with Northeast Florida Public Employees Local 630 for the contract year ending Sept. 30, 2011, is over and an agreement had been reached. One change to the contract is that employees who are called out to work will be paid for four hours minimum plus travel time and the deal took effect the day it was unanimously ratified by the commission — Oct. 16, 2012. “So you won't owe any money,” Moody told the commissioners. 

“It's taking a long process to get caught back up,” Moody said. He said talks are proceeding on the next contract.

 

Housing contract ended

The Levy County Commission approved ending its contract with Roumelis Planning and Development Services as the consultant was no longer needed to handle the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 for the county.

That work will be performed by the state and the Levy Gilchrist Suwannee County Housing Authority which will acquire, renovate and rent out five homes to qualified families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and survival rates have not significantly improved in the last 40 years according to the proclamation. 

 

Planning contract approved

County Planning Director Shenley Neely recommended and the county commission approved renewal of a service agreement with the Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council.

The hourly rate schedule includes: $64 for a planning director, $42 for a senior planner, $36 for a principal planner and $39 for secretarial services through Sept. 30, 2013.

 

Housing contract ended

The Levy County Commission approved ending its contract with Roumelis Planning and Development Services as the consultant was no longer needed to handle the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 for the county.

That work will be performed by the state and the Levy Gilchrist Suwannee County Housing Authority which will acquire, renovate and rent out five homes to qualified families.

 

Public safety piggybacks contracts

Department of Public Safety Director David Knowles sought and received approval of the county commission to piggyback off the Lake County Fire Rescue Equipment agreement with Bennett Fire Products and with Municipal Equipment Company.

Bennett provides helmets, gloves and fire axes while Municipal provides personal protective equipment. 

 

Bigger grant for tourism approved

Carol McQueen, director of the Levy Visitor Bureau was back before the commission on Oct. 16 to discuss the Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund Application she submitted Oct. 5. The grant application, first discussed at an Oct. 2 meeting, would come from a $57 million BP settlement fund created as a result of a court suit over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

The grant which first started out as being $100,000, then grew to $225,000, is now up to $433,000, McQueen said. The limit on the grants is $500,000 from a $57 million fund to be established under a court settlement that has yet to get final approval from a federal court. 

McQueen said the grant will be used for marketing the county's two seafood festivals — in Cedar Key and Yankeetown — and the area's seafood.