+ County deservedly pays premium on water
Commenting on the Jan. 27 article entitled, “County to city: Prove rate”:
Referring to the 55 acres south of the airport that the Florida National Guard plans for its home, and to Palm Coast’s request that its codes be applied because the land is essentially in the middle of the city, the Flagler County Commission chairman stated that “control (for planning, building approval and landscaping) rests with the municipality that has jurisdiction over the land,” and implied that because the land is unincorporated that jurisdiction rests with the county and, therefore, does not need city approval for whatever it does.
The county should get the message that the city is the proper urban service provider for that area. All the supporting infrastructure is in Palm Coast, and whatever is done with that property will directly impact the city and its residents.
Regarding the city’s water rates, it should not be a shock to county commissioners that water rates outside city limits are 125% of in-city rates.
The exception to that was a reduced bulk rate for water to Hammock Dunes (which now has its own wells and only depends on the Palm Coast water system in case of emergency) and to Flagler County for the water needed to supply the Beverly Beach water system.
The 2007 interlocal agreement referred to by Commissioner Nate McLaughin essentially deals with water delivery jurisdiction south of State Road 100 and east of Interstate 95 and relates in no way to the airport.
Commissioners should already know why the county is paying 125% for airport water. It is outside city limits, and they’ve been paying it for years. I might suggest that if they would allow the airport property to be annexed, they would not lose control of the airport, but they would be entitled to the in-city water rates just as the county library in Palm Coast enjoys city rates.
And finally, I would hope commissioners are not serious in suggesting that the county not pay their water bill. The unpaid balance would be charged interest and at some point might end up in court.
Mr. Venne was a Palm Coast City Council member from 2000 to 2007.
+ Postcard plan raises questions
Your front page article “City campaigns to fill vacant lots,” followed by your Page 6 editorial, “On builders, demand and jobs, jobs, jobs,” makes me wonder what the city is really doing to aggressively promote the residential building industry?
Does the postcard contain an incentive?
(For example: Bring this card into City Hall and receive 50% discounts on all fees if you build this year.)
Does it offer a site where out-of-town owners can view a list of qualified builders in Palm Coast?
Or how about no taxes for one year if you build in Palm Coast in 2011?
With all of the snow around the United States, if you had a lot in Palm Coast, one might be inclined to take action. I have lived in the area for 12 years and built our permanent residence in Palm Coast. What a great place to live!
Editor’s Note: According to City Manager Jim Landon, the city will be sending a packet to people who respond to the postcard.
The packet will include coupons for local venues, including an offer for free golf and tennis.
“Hopefully some local businesses will participate,” Landon wrote via e-mail.
As far as the fees, the city already discounts building permits by 90%.
If anyone asks for a list of qualified builders, he or she will be referred to the Flagler Homebuilders Association.
You also asked whether taxes would be waived. Landon said: “This is not being considered. Giving this benefit to a new resident would not be fair to our existing residents who are paying taxes.”