Nassau County Insider
County Manager’s Office
Sabrina Roberston June 19, 2019 1:30 p.m.
At this morning’s Board of County Commissioner’s meeting, the Board approved a Resolution rescinding the Burn Ban. Therefore, the Burn Ban has officially been lifted.
We apologize for the delay in having it lifted. As we previously stated, several of the County Commissioners were away at a conference last week and could not hold a meeting to rescind the ban. At this morning’s meeting, the Board granted the County Manager authority to implement and lift burn bans upon recommendation of the Fire Chief. This should help prevent delays in the future.
As a reminder, you are only allowed to burn yard waste. You are NEVER allowed to Continue reading →
Editor’s Note: Wain Wesberry, minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Fernandina Beach, captured a beautiful sunset during an early evening walk with his wife Sarah. Wain spends his spare time serving Boy Scout Troop #89, and participating in various Amelia Musical Playhouse musicals. We thank Wain for his contribution to the Fernandina Observer.
Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 21, 2019 – 3:00 p.m.
During her report at the end of the June 18, 2019 Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) Regular Meeting, City Attorney Tammi Bach informed Commissioners that Vice Mayor Len Kreger had asked her to draft an ordinance for consideration at the July 16 FBCC meeting to eliminate on-beach parking at Seaside Park (Sadler Road).Bach reminded commissioners that the current ordinance states that the city must conduct a study to reduce parking in that area.Bach asked for direction from the FBCC as a whole before proceeding to work on this item.
Commissioner Chip Ross asked Kreger if Police and Ocean Rescue had been consulted on this proposal.Kreger replied that Ocean Rescue strongly favored the move, but the Police had expressed concern over where the displaced vehicles would park.“My motivation.” Kreger said, “is that somebody is going to get killed.We haven’t gotten anyone killed yet, but we did get some people run over.There are other issues involving state law, and I think it’s time to do it.”
Kreger went on to state that parking should not be a consideration because “there is plenty of parking at American Beach and Burney Park.”
He stressed his concerns about public safety and ADA access to the beach at Seaside Park.
He said, “I’m all for adding it to the agenda and biting the bullet.”He said that he has been getting a lot of public support to support an ordinance that would eliminate parking at Seaside Park.
Ross said, “I can’t support this until we do the study. … I hear what you are saying; I would never take a car on the beach.But many people in the community disagree vehemently.We are talking about 600 feet of beach out of 7 miles of beach.”
Ross quoted Police Chief Jim Hurley as stating that the current system to monitor the situation at Seaside Park is working, although not 100 percent.Hurley feared many unanticipated consequences from eliminating beach parking.But prime among Ross’ objections was the absence of the study as mandated by the ordinance.
Kreger said he was fine with a study.But he brought concerns over the legality of parking on a beach that has been renourished with public funds.But he agreed that these concerns would be addressed in the study.
Bach asked if the matter could be placed on a future agenda as a discussion item, to talk about parameters of a study prior to moving forward with an ordinance.
Commissioners agreed to direct the City Manager to bring forth a proposed study for discussion at their August 2, 2019 Regular Meeting.
Commissioner Mike Lednovich said he had a different take on the issue.“What we are talking about is behaviors from people who don’t obey the rules,” he said.“This is 2019.Everything is captured on video cameras.”He suggested that three cameras could capture violators and immediately result in tickets and fines.“This is not rocket science.You change behaviors by holding people accountable.”
At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on June 19, 2019, Taco Pope, Assistant County Manager and former director of Planning and Economic Opportunity delivered a presentation outlining the draft goals and objectives for the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Project. This report is a result of months of community outreach efforts and reflects the comments received.
“Branded” with the title of Our Heritage/Our Future, priority number one is to improve floodplain management. Other goals enumerated in the report include:
• Increase the percentage of land conservation
• Maintain or improve water quality
• Ensure the history and heritage of Western Nassau is shared with future generations
• Document and preserve historic buildings which will include the completion of a county-wide survey of all culture resources by 2020
• Preserve the rural and agricultural sense of place in Western Nassau
• Preserve community-based activities
• Increase the availability of diverse housing options (to accommodate all ages and incomes)
• Increase availability of health care services
Five members of the Planning and Zoning Board serve on that committee which began its Continue reading →
Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst June 21, 2019 – 11:30 a.m.
Elm Street SportsmanAssociation
In 2014 a group of civic minded, men who desired to make a difference in the lives of young people and families in Fernandina Beach founded the Elm Street Sportsman Association (ESSA).Since then the organization has blossomed into a well-established and well-regarded community outreach resource.
The mission of the Elm Street Sportsman Association, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is to address the social and economic needs of citizens while working to guide, foster and support youth towards S.T.A.R.S. (Striving To Achieve Real Success).The organization sponsors, participates and/or donates to a wide variety of community organizations which include: Fernandina Beach High School Football Team, Fernandina Beach High School Tennis Team, Boys & Girls Club of Fernandina Beach, Keep Nassau Beautiful, Cedar Haven Transitional Home for Women, A Much Bigger World Inc., and the Young Lives Multicultural Ministry. Additionally, ESSA organizes and hosts back-to-school supply rallies, Communications with Cops, Thanksgiving baskets for area families in need, sporting events, Christmas toy giveaways and scholarship awards. These events are always free of charge and open to all members of the community.
In delivering the Proclamation expressing gratitude to ESSA “for their steadfast devotion and continuous and faithful leadership in this community which helps develop children and families into capable young adults and future leaders” Fernandina Beach Vice Mayor Len Kreger also announced the organization’s plans to offer homework tutoring, test preparation tutoring, college application assistance, mentoring, a farm sharing program, community-wide workshops aimed at homeownership education and connecting those in need with social services.
Lawrence Albertie accepted the Proclamation on behalf of the Association.
Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey
NOAA Office of Coast Survey Navigation Response Team Two Leader Mr. James Kirkpatrick accepted the Proclamation expressing the city’s gratitude for their steadfast stewardship in providing navigation products and services that ensure safe and efficient maritime commerce on America’s oceans and coastal waters.
Vice Mayor Len Kreger read the Proclamation, which cited the 200-year history of the office, which focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.The City of Fernandina Beach is home to a NOAA Office of Coast Survey where innovative applications beyond navigation emerge as researchers harness evolving technologies. These advancements give the Office of Coast Survey tremendous opportunities to help the Nation meet the challenges of the changing environment.
Kreger recognized the Office’s Navigation Response Team, which shelters-in-place during extreme weather events here and warns citizens of dangerous weather.The Team is responsible for responding to maritime emergencies and searching for underwater obstructions that pose a danger to navigation which are often the result of extreme ocean turbidity caused by nor’easters, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
Contact: Susan Grich
904-448-4300, ext. 112 [email protected] June 21, 2019 3:00 p.m.
Join Judge James Daniel on Tuesday June 25th from 4:30 – 5:00 on the steps of the courthouse located at the Judicial Complex in Yulee on 76347 Veteran’s Way, Yulee, Florida for the official kick-off of the Nassau County Opioid Response Program Planning Initiative (ORPPI-Nassau) funded through a grant from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist rural communities responding to the opioid crisis.
This Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning Grant supports a partnership between the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida (HPCNEF), the St. John’s River Rural Health Network, Continue reading →
Yulee, Fla. – The northbound I-95 ramp to State Road (S.R.) 200, exit 373, will be detoured Monday night, June 24 from midnight to 5 a.m., weather and schedule permitting. The detour is necessary for crews to install an overhead sign structure. Once the structure is installed the ramp will reopen.
Drivers will be detoured north on I-95 to U.S. 17, exit 380, and travel south to reconnect with State Road 200. A map of the detour is attached for convenience.
The S.R. 200 improvement project in Yulee consists of the reconstruction and widening of 2.2 miles of S.R. 200/A1A from west of I-95 to west of Still Quarters Road, widening of ramps at Interstate 95/A1A exit 373 (to Yulee/Callahan/Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach), and the reconfiguration of the interchange under I-95 into a diverging diamond interchange (DDI).
The widening project will increase the roadway from four lanes to six lanes and includes raised medians, bicycle lanes, curb and gutter, sidewalks and high mast lighting.
By Ron Bukley The Town-Crier June 26, 2019 1:00 p.m.
In light of the city of Fernandina Beach’s recent experience with a litigant over this issue, we thought our readers might be interested in another take on this problem from another Florida community. We thank The Town-Crier for permission to reprint this article.
Local municipalities are struggling to make their web sites compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the face of lawsuits being filed against municipalities that have not come into compliance.
City of Westlake Attorney Pam Booker reported Monday, June 17 on new budget reporting requirements passed in the last session of the Florida Legislature, and City Manager Ken Cassel said the requirement could be challenging to local governments attempting to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Booker said the legislature enacted HB 861, which deals with local government and web site Continue reading →