Home > The Press (page 689)

Category Archives: The Press

The money squeeze: $400K more slashed

The Baker County Commission, grappling with the same dilemma its dealt with for the past few years, is once again trying to figure out how to balance a new budget when projected expenses exceed income from state and local revenue sources.

But the board got a pretty good start on it this week. During a three-hour workshop on the afternoon of August 27, commissioners and County Manager C.J. Thompson cut nearly $400,000 from a proposed $24.6 million budget.

That still leaves a $1.6 million deficit to be filled with additional revenue, or eliminated by spending cuts. However, Mr. Thompson said county departments had already absorbed significant budget cuts and didn’t know how much more slashing they could take.

“I’m happy with my department heads,” he said. “There are some departments that can’t be cut (any further).”

The next round of budget talks will begin at 3 pm on September 4.

A list of the reductions made by the county manager to trim the deficit included the elimination of $197,600 in contingency funding, $50,000 by removing two proposed new trucks in the road department, $39,000 by not filling an open road department position and $49,050 by eliminating a new Emergency Medical Services lieutenant position.

Read More »

Only prudent course was delay sand mining vote

The two companies that had Baker County in a turmoil in recent months seeking to bring their sand mining operations to sites south and east of Macclenny did last week what they had to do.

Both withdrew petitions for zoning exceptions pending environmental review by two state agencies — St. Johns Water Management District and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Opponents were loaded for bear before the hearings cancelled at the last minute the evening of August 21 — a petition with 2000 names and warm bodies to fill the large second-story courtroom at the county courthouse.

Alas, it was all for naught, at least for the present.

The controversy isn’t about sand mining, after all. It’s about water supply, and one could argue convincingly that the environmental impact portion of this should have preceded the zoning exception request.

But it didn’t, and we need to deal with what is.

As mentioned before, the plans of Old Castle Southern Group of Tampa and E.R. Jahna of Lake Wales broke into the public consciousness at an inopportune time — right on the heels of the medical waste incinerator request (also at Trailridge and environs) that turned into a fiasco.

The public perception with all three projects — rightly or wrongly — was that they screamed out “environmental hazard!” foisted on the public after groundwork was laid in secret.

That’s not exactly accurate, but it didn’t matter — perception is everything.

Read More »

Benjamin Allen, 65, of Glen dies

Benjamin Wren Allen, 65, of Glen St. Mary died on August 23, 2012 at his residence with family by his side. He was born in San Diego, California on July 8, 1947 to the late Ralph Franklin Allen and Ruby Eunice Horn Allen. Ben was a resident of Glen St. Mary since 2004 and a member of First Baptist Church of Macclenny for many years. He served his country proudly for three years in the United States Army in nuclear weapons.

Mr. Allen retired in 2004 after many years of building custom cabinets. He was a loving husband and a born-again Christian. He enjoyed flying airplanes as a licensed pilot, building and flying remote control airplanes, painting on canvas using acrylic, reading the Bible and spending time with his family. Ben was preceded in death by his brother Martin Allen and step-son Michael “Mike” Starling.

Read More »

Michael Bailey funeral Saturday

Michael Anthony Bailey Sr., 39, of Macclenny died on August 23, 2012 after a short illness.

He was predeceased in death by his father John Bailey Sr., grandmothers Margaret Charles and Mary Wilcox, grandfathers M.B. Charles and John E. Bailey, cousins, a sister-in-law and a mother-in-law.

Read More »

Scroll To Top