Susan Hardee Steger
Arthur I. “Buddy” Jacobs of Jacobs Scholz and Associates, will continue to serve as lobbyist for the City of Fernandina Beach. After a brief presentation, the commission voted 5 – 0 to continue his contract. This marks the third year Jacobs has served as a state and federal lobbyist for the City of Fernandina Beach.
With belt tightening at the state level, Jacobs’ lobbying efforts, secured 1.4 million in the approved state budget for the upcoming 2013-2014 city beach renourishment project. Jacobs is currently negotiating with the Corp of Engineers over a $324,000 disputed back bill submitted to the city after a 2008 beach renourishment project. An audit undertaken by the Army Corp of Engineers indicated the city was incorrectly billed.
Other projects directed by the commission to undertake include securing federal monies for infrastructure work on the city’s waterfront, computer acquisitions for the library, and monies to secure funding for storm water improvement on Fletcher Avenue.
Jacobs discussed the historic United States Post Office on Centre Street in regard to the postal service “Rescue Act” moving through the U.S. House and Senate. A prevision added to this act provides that “In the case of a post office that has been closed and that is located within a historic post office building, the Postal Service shall provide Federal agencies and State and local government entities the opportunities to lease the historic post office building, if the Postal Service is unable to sell the building at an acceptable price within a reasonable period of time after the post office has been closed.” This allows for a municipality to obtain a historic post office for a reasonable value. The act has passed the Senate and is being discussed in the house. In the event the city is interested in acquiring the Centre Street post office in the future, Jacobs indicated he is identify funding streams to restore the facility.
September 19, 2012 4:59 a.m.