Commandments move ever closer to City Hall

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Chiefland commissioners approved unanimously Monday night on first reading an ordinance that sets new guidelines for the placement of monuments at City Hall.

The ordinance, which, among other things, allows for the placement of any monument that holds to certain requirements, such as having historical significance, will clear the path for placement of the long-lost Ten Commandments monument.

The monument, donated by Old Town businessman Joe Anderson, was removed at the end of 2011 a few months after the city was hit with a public records request from the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that was at that time in a lawsuit with Dixie County over a similar monument.

City Attorney Norm Fugate said Chiefland's new guidelines were based in part on those already written by Levy and Bradford counties, both of which have Ten Commandments monuments donated by Anderson.

"I think, from a legal standpoint, as long as you follow this ordinance you'll be OK," Fugate said.

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