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Palm Coast Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 2 years ago

NEWS BRIEFS: Voice your opinion on Flagler’s economy, health

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Also: Flagler County seeks civil engineers

Voice your opinion on Flagler’s economy, health

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office:

Now is the time to provide information that will help the officials and agencies of Flagler County better serve the citizenry.

Commission Chair Barbara Revels asked at the last County Commission meeting that information about the Community Health Survey – www.communityhealthsurvey.com – be distributed to involve as many Flagler County residents as possible. The survey is being conducted in conjunction with the Flagler County Health Department and Florida Hospital Flagler.

The survey can be completed online within a couple of minutes and asks about health concerns and service accessibility. Respondents are anonymous.

The same holds true of the Economic Development Survey currently being conducted by the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. The survey asks a variety of questions about economic development, including how familiar respondents are with Flagler County’s economic development efforts and their preferred areas of focus, and, finally, whether they have any concerns.

That survey can also be completed online at surveymonkey.com/r/Flaglerecon. Respondents to this survey may remain anonymous, or may include contact information for an opportunity to win a gift basket from the Chamber for completing the survey.

 

Palm Coast Mayor endorses Gov. Scott’s proposed reforms for Enterprise Florida

The following is a news release from the city of Palm Coast communications office: 

Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts on Thursday announced his support for Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed reforms for Enterprise Florida, including the creation of the Florida Enterprise Fund.
 
“I’m proud to support Gov. Scott’s proposal to empower Enterprise Florida to better compete with other states in attracting high paying jobs to Florida and Palm Coast,” Mayor Netts said.
 
“Enterprise Florida and the incentives offered are integral to helping Palm Coast fulfill the goals of Prosperity 2021, our economic development plan, and attract companies to grow our local economy,” he said. “Coastal Cloud, AVEO Engineering, Palm Coast Data, and Designs for Health are all companies that located or expanded operations in our community due to our partnership with Enterprise Florida. These reforms will continue to help diversify our economy and create even more great jobs.”
 
The Governor’s proposals endorsed by Enterprise Florida include:

  • Creating a new $250 million competitive fund called the “Florida Enterprise Fund.”
  • Making the Florida Enterprise Fund a state trust fund to replace the existing escrow account to allow the state’s investment to accrue more interest.
  • Increasing the Legislature’s role in competing for job creation projects by requiring that any deal over $1 million have the approval of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, as well as the Governor.
  • Reforming the return-on-investment requirements by eliminating the use of waivers and requiring a 10-percent annualized return on top of the original amount invested in a company.
  • Streamline the state’s approval process while continuing to ensure that no tax dollars leave the state trust fund until a company meets specific job creation goals spelled out in their contract. 

Visit enterpriseflorida.com/contactyourlegislator for information on supporting the Governor’s proposed reforms. 

 

Flagler County seeks civil engineers

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office:

Flagler County has three open positions for civil engineers including a project manager, a construction inspector and a road and bridge manager.

“We have completed a number of big and exciting projects this year, and we have more in the works,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said.

Flagler County has this year completed a $2 million project along John Anderson Highway that added five feet to each side of the roadway to accommodate bike lanes, as well as resurfacing and restriping the entire roadway. Crews also completed box culvert work on County Road 305 in western Flagler County that rounded out $20 million in roadwork there, including the replacement of all seven bridges along the span from State Road 100 in Bunnell to Seville in Volusia County.

Improvements were made to Mala Compra Park that included additional parking and a trail that included two boardwalks over the interdune salt marshes and dune walkovers at the beach. The 8-acre Varn Park added parking, a new artistic bathroom feature and an additional dune walkover. On behalf of the city of Bunnell, Flagler County oversaw the construction of a $2.5 million project at Joanne B. King Park that also included a new bathroom, additional parking, as well as miles of sidewalks and board walks to connect the park to Bunnell Elementary School.

Started, but not completed, is roadwork to create an Interstate 95 interchange at Matanzas Woods Parkway. It is a nearly $9 million project that has been in the works for a decade to secure both federal funding and money from the Florida Department of Transportation.

“We have a lot of great projects here in Flagler County,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “We are always working to improve things for our residents and our visitors.”

For more information about the three civil engineering positions, go to www.flaglercounty.org and click on “Job Postings” in the left-hand column.

“We are growing and have a wide array of capital projects we manage,” Human Resources Director Joe Mayer said. “With three civil engineering position openings in both our engineering and public works divisions, now is your time to join our quality team.”

The salary ranges are between $60,000 and $90,000, depending on qualifications, and a generous benefits package.

“We are willing to take on quality junior engineers and develop them to the next level,” Mayer said.

 

Palm Coast Mayor honored with NEFRC’s 2015 ‘Regional Leadership Award’

The following is a news release from the city of Palm Coast communications office: 
 
Palm Coast – Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts has been selected to receive the Regional Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Regional Council, a network of local governance serving seven counties and their 27 municipalities.
 
The award – one of the top honors in NEFRC’s annual awards program – will be presented Dec. 3 in Jacksonville. The City of Palm Coast also won an award in the category of Planning & Growth Management, for its work in the redevelopment of the Island Walk Shopping Center.
 
“This is a huge honor, very well-deserved,” Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon said in announcing the recognition for Mayor Netts at the Nov. 17 Palm Coast City Council meeting.
 
In its formal announcement of this year’s winners, the Northeast Florida Regional Council said:

Category: Regional Leadership
Mayor Jon Netts

Jon Netts personifies the essence of a Mayor who unites his constituents and assures that Palm Coast has meaningful input into all that is happening in the Northeast region of Florida. Always with an eye on the bigger picture, Mayor Netts stays true to his belief that ‘We are part of a region. What they do affects us and what we do affects them. What we do together, we do better than if we try to do it alone.’ Mayor Netts has served nine years on the Northeast Florida Regional Council and was recently elected as chair of their non-profit policy affiliate, the Regional Community Institute. He also serves as a Commissioner on the Florida Inland Navigation District. Under Mayor Nett’s leadership, the City has received two Gold and one Silver Designation Certifications for Green Local Governments for the Florida Green Building Coalition and is now ranked third in all of Florida; bringing pride and recognition to the Northeast region. Additional sustainability awards during his tenure include the Outstanding Sustainability Initiative Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (Surfcoast Chapter) and three NEFRC Awards for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.
 
Category: Planning & Growth Management
Island Walk Shopping Center Redevelopment
 
Island Walk, a 28.7-acre shopping center, has been redeveloped through a partnership with the City and the property owner, Branch Properties. This redevelopment is a showcase project for city-wide strategic planning goals identified in Prosperity 2021, the Strategic Action Plan and the Parkway East District Plan that center on maintaining the relevance, functionality and appearance of all parts of the city, including its older areas. Island Walk represents one of many keystone projects undertaken to maintain the quality of the Parkway East community as it matures, which is reflected in a focused directive in the City’s Strategic Action Plan: keeping older neighborhoods attractive and relevant. An early indicator of the success of this project is that more than 80 percent of the available square footage has been pre-leased according to the property owner,
inclusive of new major tenants for the existing large retail spaces that were planned to remain.
 
The Northeast Florida Regional Council’s full news release announcing all of this year’s award winners can be read at: http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/newsroom/2015-regional-leadership-awards.pdf.
 
For more information, contact Palm Coast Communications & Marketing Manager Cindi Lane at [email protected] or 386-986-3708.
 
the Strategic Action Plan and the Parkway East District Plan that center on maintaining the relevance, functionality and appearance of all parts of the city, including its older areas. Island Walk represents one of many keystone projects undertaken to maintain the quality of the Parkway East community as it matures, which is reflected in a focused directive in the City’s Strategic Action Plan: keeping older neighborhoods attractive and relevant. An early indicator of the success of this project is that more than 80 percent of the available square footage has been pre-leased according to the property owner,
inclusive of new major tenants for the existing large retail spaces that were planned to remain.
 
The Northeast Florida Regional Council’s full news release announcing all of this year’s award winners can be read at: http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/newsroom/2015-regional-leadership-awards.pdf.
 
 

Weather alerts critical during El Niño years

The following is a news release from the city of Flagler Beach communications office: 

The end of the hurricane season is not the end of the storm season. Flagler County officials are encouraging residents to sign up for the CodeRED weather warning notifications because El Niño weather conditions set the stage for severe thunderstorms and the tornadoes that often accompany them.

“It is in your best interest to not only sign up for the CodeRED weather warning notification system, but to pay particular attention to them when weather warnings are issued,” said Public Safety Emergency Manager Kevin Guthrie. “El Niños are not the cause of violent tornadoes, but they are the cause for the environmental conditions which become more favorable for them.” 

All of Florida is likely to experience a wetter and stormier winter, Guthrie said. Tornadoes during an El Niño tend to be stronger, with faster wind speeds, and are more likely to occur at night.

The last tornado twisted through Flagler County in December 2013. 

It was classified as an EF 1 based on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which means the wind speeds ranged between 86 and 110 mph. The tornado traveled east from Espanola, jumped over Interstate 95, continuing into the eastern portion of Palm Coast – causing $7.2 million damage to some 241 homes.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported this morning that on today’s date in 1983 an F2 tornado with winds between 113 and 157 mph touched down, causing an estimated $250,000 in damages. It traveled three miles and had a width of 50 yards.

Twenty-five known tornadoes have hit Flagler County since 1970.  

“That’s just the known tornadoes,” said Emergency Management Technician Bob Pickering. “There have probably been more but if they hit in a wooded area and felled trees only, we might not know about them.” 

Know the difference between a watch and a warning.

A watch means that conditions are favorable for severe weather. Regular activities can continue, but it is important to receive up-to-date weather reports.  

A warning means that severe weather has been sighted

If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately in a small interior room of a strong building. Use pillows and blankets as a protection from flying debris. Cars and mobile homes are not considered “substantial shelter.” 

“We recommend that everyone sign up for CodeRED,” Guthrie said. “It is a free service that will notify you when a warning is issued for your local area.”

Residents with computer access can register online at www.cityofflaglerbeach.com.  The direct link for Code RED is: cityofflaglerbeach.com/index.aspx?NID=64

 

Help available for smokers wanting to quit

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office:

Tobacco Free Florida set up an informational display in the Government Services Building to send one clear message: there is help for smokers in Flagler County who are interested in kicking the habit.

“We are here to help,” said Teresa Williams, Tobacco Program Manager for the Tobacco Free Flagler Partnership. “We can provide nicotine replacement patches. There are classes, and you can keep coming back through the program if you need to.”

The display was set up to coincide with the Great American Smokeout and included some unappetizing models. There were models showing what cancer looks like in a human mouth, something called “hairy tongue” a condition that can develop in tobacco users, in addition to jars of fluids that can develop in the lungs of smokers.

“The shock value is good,” said Anita Stoker, Flagler County benefits and wellness manager. “It really shows the impact that smoking has on a person, and it may help them choose to stop.”

Landon Stone, a 13-year-old student from Indian Trails Middle School and chairman of SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco), was given a pass from school to help Williams provide information and fliers to those who stopped.

He struck up a conversation with Commission Chair Barbara Revels.

“Our SWAT group has one real objective,” Stone said. “Companies are using candy-flavored (blueberry, peach, grape) to sell to kids like 9 to 13 years old. They get used to seeing it right there by the candy.”

Revels thanked him for his dedication to the cause.

“That’s really great,” she said. “It’s wonderful that you are interested in preventing kids from smoking.”

Fliers were distributed to advertise a “Quit Smoking Now” class that will be held in January at Florida Hospital Flagler. Those interested can call 877-784-8486 for additional information or to register.

Victor DeNoble, a fired researcher for Philip Morris, tobacco company whisle-blower and prominent anti-smoking campaigner, is coming to Rymfire Elementary in May to speak to students.

“We want to catch them young,” Williams said. “Victor DeNoble will make quite an impression on them.”

Portions of the 15-minute “Anatomy of a Puff” can be seen on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=PkyjzNOYHlw. It highlights the chemicals that are added to cigarettes.

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