Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County News

Legislative Delegation On Tap Today At 9 AM: Columbia County Looking for $24,392,500

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Monday at 9:00 am Columbia County's Legislative Delegation will be meeting at Florida Gateway College's board room, located in the school's administration building, number 1 at 149 SE College Place.

It is not clear why Delegation Chair Representative Brannon did not choose a larger room, as this part of Florida is experiencing a medium risk of Covid and Flu transmission. The CDC recommends masks and spreading out, if possible.

Senator Jennifer Bradley is the other half of the County's Legislative Delegation.

All Delegation meetings are open to the public and should be widely advertised to the general public, media, and local governments.

The Legislative Delegation holds a public hearing each year to afford local officials, members of the public, and other interested parties the opportunity to present legislative proposals or express opinions on state issues.

FGC is well-equipped to broadcast and record the Delegation meeting. However, the level of engagement by the college is unknown.

While news of the Delegation meeting was initially released on November 21, the Observer has not received an agenda as of this publication.

It is unknown who will be the presenter for the County 5. On the County’s agenda for Monday morning are the following requests for money:

• Bethlehem Community Center: $475,000

• Sheriff's Evidence Lab: $980,000

• Health Dept. Facility/Shelter: $16,000,000

• North Florida Mega Industrial Park, formerly Plum Creek, then the Inland Port and the Intermodal Park. The County is looking for $5,700,000 for a water project to develop well fields, while at the same time, Lake City is sitting on a DEP permit within walking distance of the proposed County well field, which allows pumping of 18mil gallons. This project has been lingering since the mid-2000s and has landed no tenants, but has lost a few.

• Bascom Norris Road Improvement: $1,237,500

• Fort White is looking for money to build a sewer system. This is important because of Fort White's location in the heart of spring country and the plan for a 100-home subdivision planned by Commissioner Rocky Ford for Fort White.

The County also supports several positions supported by the Small Counties Coalition.

The Property Appraiser, Clerk of the Courts, Sheriff, and Tax Collector may also make appearances.

The Suwannee River Water Management District may make a personal appearance, as may the Lake Shore Hospital Authority. The Authority is down from over a thousand clients to thirty-nine and supervises a vacated hospital for which it cannot find a tenant.

It is unknown if Lake City will be represented at the Delegation.

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