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Opinion
POLITICAL CARTOON BY BRIAN MCMILLAN
Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 7 years ago

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 1.20.2011

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+ County has no right to 55-acre parcel
Dear Editor:
With reference to your recent article, “City backs off annexation”: The issue here is a lot more than the “Water War” debates.
 

ITT had set aside that 55 acres along with other parcels for park, fire stations, and other municipal uses that would be required in Palm Coast.
 

The county has turned all of those properties over to Palm Coast, except for the 55 acres, which the city had anticipated would become a local park for the Quail Hollow area.
 

At the time, the county advised the City Council it wanted to hold the land for possible use related to the airport, but that it would provide the city with some other property in exchange. Needless to say, that never happened.
 

Now the county has made that land available to the National Guard. The city should provide the water and sewer utility and require the property be incorporated into Palm Coast.
 

The county has absolutely no basis for arguing that the land should not become part of the city. As pointed out in your article, no tax dollars are at stake. The property is virtually in the middle of the city. All of the urban services and infrastructure are provided by the city, and all activities from that site will directly impact the municipality.
 

Palm Coast will certainly be a good host to the National Guard. The county’s insistence that this property remain unincorporated is somewhat of an embarrassment to the city and the National Guard. The Guard will realize that their interests will be best served by incorporation. The Guard might also be interested in the fact that water supplied outside city limits is billed at 25% above the city rates.

William Venne
Palm Coast
Venne was a member of the
Palm Coast City Council
from 2000 to 2007.

Editor’s Note: You said it wasn’t related just to the Water Wars, but I’ve done a bit more digging on that issue, too.

A 2007 agreement between Palm Coast, the county and the other municipalities addresses the issue of annexation in the context of water use.

The agreement states:
“Palm Coast agrees that it will not require annexation as a condition of providing retail water and wastewater service in those areas ... that are currently in the Palm Coast’s Chapter 180, Florida Statutes, Service Area, south and/or east of the existing Palm Coast city limits, and lands east of the Intracoastal Waterway and the provisions of this Agreement shall prevail over Palm Coast’s policy relating to mandatory annexation as part of the provision of utility services in those areas.”

After looking closely at the map that went along with the agreement, my interpretation is that the city can’t cite water use as a justification to annex a property that is south and/or east of the city limits.

The land in question is the airport. Is that south of the city limits? Yes and no. Technically, there are a few slivers of land south of the airport, so you could also say the airport is north of the city limits.

Is the airport east of the city limits? Yes, but there are also slivers of the city boundaries that are east of the airport, so technically the airport is also west of some portions of the city.

The airport is essentially a hole, or an enclave. Unfortunately, the agreement doesn’t have a clause to specifically address holes in the city limits.

And the Water Wars rage on!

+ Palm Coast is whistle stop, not resort
Dear Editor:
I read your Jan. 6 article on our mayor, Jon Netts. It appears that he has started his campaign for re-election this November. His cronies really buttered him up to look like Superman.
 

Mr. Netts must be homesick having had to leave a plush area in New Jersey and retiring to a laidback potato-and-cabbage county. He and his other two New Jersey council members who insist on “quality living” have done a very good job of chasing long-time retired residents on fixed income out of our city.
 

People with plush retirement incomes moved to Palm Coast in lieu of Palm Beach or other similar well-known Florida counties because properties here were a steal compared to other counties.
 

After moving here, they were not happy that they did not have all the facilities (plush country clubs, theaters and the arts) they had up north.
 

Past, present and future county and city officials and the land developers (who could talk them into buying the Brooklyn Bridge) thought Palm Coast was a resort area. Palm Coast never was and never will become a resort area because there is nothing here to attract them.
 

Our beach does not have soft white sand, and the old wooden pier should have been replaced years ago with a concrete structure. There isn’t one modern hotel or motel along Highway A1A from county line to county line (excluding private and semi-private accommodations and restaurants). There isn’t a franchised restaurant.
 

Give us back our way of living. We were very happy with our whistle-stop town and low taxes.
 

Walter Albano
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: Mr. Albano, there are many franchised restaurants in Palm Coast, including Outback Steakhouse and Golden Corral. Ruby Tuesday was franchised in 2004, but the owner then sold it back to the corporate office.

 

Send your letters to [email protected] palmcoastobserver.com, or mail them to the Palm Coast Observer, 1 Florida Park Drive, N., Unit 103, Palm Coast, FL 32137. The Palm Coast Observer gives priority to letters of general interest about local issues. Be sure to include your name, city of residence and contact information for clarification. The editor reserves the right to condense letters.

 

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