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The WAPALACHICOLA, FL
Volume 14, Number 3 A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER February 4 -17, 2005
Final Public Consensus
Franklin County Comprehensive Plan
By Richard E. Noble
Tuesday, January 5th at the new courthouse annex, the scene of
what had been proclaimed as 'The Final Public Consensus Work-
shop"-with accent on the word Final-was enacted. The room was
filled with advocates, concerned listeners, and observers many of whom
did not speak or voice opinions, but were clearly there to listen.
Alan Pierce and four of our five County Commissioners were present.
Jimmy Mosconis was unable to attended due to prior commitments.
Alan Pierce, the County planner spoke first in an attempt to set the
mood of the meeting.
"We have no planned agenda tonight. This is just a workshop setting.
It is a public workshop where the public can talk about what they are
concerned about." He informed everyone that Cheryl Sanders was
the Chairman of the meeting and would be the responsible party when
David McLain-River Keepers
Dave McLain of the River Keepers (ABARK) then stepped forward. He
explained that even though Mr. Pierce did not have an agenda, he
did. "Alan said that there is no agenda for the meeting. We would.
hope that there was an agenda for the meeting. It is really in two
parts-one is informational. We're trying to do the task of summing
up eighteen months worth of visioning processes into a digest. But
I'm not the Public-you are the Public. What we're trying to do is to
present to you this draft; have you look at it, take from it, and do
whatever you want. This is not a consensus workshop because we
are not doing consensus testing. That is done by a facilitator in a
facilitated environment and we don't have that. I am too involved in
this process to be considered a facilitator. The second part (of our
presentation) is a decision briefing." He explained that this was to
inform the Commission and the pubic on the issues that have been
arrived at over the past months and then to find out how the public
and the Commission can use this information in the Comprehensive
Plan and for making future decisions.
Commissioner Putnal then advised Mr. McLain that he need not spend
any excess time on the Coastal High Hazard Area problem because
he (Putnal) had intentions of recommending a special meeting to dis-
cuss that issue separately.
Dan Cox-High Hazard
A discussion then ensued brought forward by Attorney Dan Cox with
regards to what was a Coastal High Hazard Area and how it was
defined by the State and the DCA. Alan Pierce explained that neither
the State nor the DCA seemed to have any set description with re-
gards to density and other requirements and that the definition of a
High Hazard Area differed from section to section about the State. He
suggested that it may be incumbent upon the Board and this Com-
.munity to make its own decisions on what constitutes a High Hazard
Area and then submit it to the State for its approval.
Alan Pierce Explains County's Positions
Alan Pierce then explained his position in general. He discussed three
areas that he saw as of primary importance: wetland's protection,
affordable housing, and code enforcement. 'The current Comp Plan
does not change the County's plan or policies as regards to wetland's
protection. We're not adding any additional layers of protection and
we're not taking any away. In 1991, 11% percent of the County was
owned by the Government; in 2004, 80% of the county is owned by
the Government. Eighty six percent of all wetlands are now owned by
the government. Not only are all wetlands owned by the government
but any reasonable buffers that you want to apply around those wet-
lands are also owned by the government. So with that change in own-
ership (and current County rules and regulations), I'm going to tell
you that we have a A+ protection plan for wetlands in Franklin County.
I felt that the wetlands were adequately protected, so I haven't pro-
posed any changes to wetland protection. This plan, as proposed,
does not have any additional alterations as to wetland protection.
"Affordable housing? It is an extremely important issue." Mr. Pierce
went on to explain that the reason affordable housing was not ad-
dressed adequately in the Comp Plan was because, once again, the
State and the 'DCA had no adequate guidelines or definitions with
regards to this problem. Rules about affordable housing differ from
area to area about the State. "We would love to have more guidance,
but we don't have more guidance. The policy that I have written is-
as far as I felt-we (the local government) understood the issue. Is
there more to be known about it? Absolutely. We need to set up a
committee and or a director of affordable housing. We talked this
morning with Michael Moron, the Ship administrator for affordable
housing and let him see what he can propose. Habitat for Humanity
may come in with ideas that it may think are important." Pierce reit-
erated that what had been submitted on this issue was based on the
limits of the county knowledge about the issue and what the DCA
and the State had provided and that this issue would have to be
deferred until further information and knowledge had been acquired
on the problem.
'The last issue that I want to discuss is code enforcement. It is not an
unknown problem. It is a legitimate problem. There is a whole range
of codes that the county already has." Pierce expressed the need or
possibility for some sort of code enforcement, but qualified this need
or priority with the notion that this was not a usual and necessary
part of any comprehensive plan. He challenged anyone in the audi-
ence to show him a comprehensive plan that included code enforce-
ment as a part of its recommendation or stipulations. He explained
that code enforcement was a part of the budgeting process of the
local government and that it was done annually. If dollar mandates
or paid employee positions were spelled out in a comp plan, a com-
munity would, in effect, be putting demands upon itself. It would
then be forced to live up to these demands whether it had the money
to pay for them or not. In effect they would be setting up expenses
without having knowledge of future revenue or county income. "You
don't put policies into your comp plan that dictate the amount of
personnel that you are going to have for anything whether it be law
enforcement or code enforcement." He then repeated his challenge to
anyone who could show him a comp plan which included code en-
forcement and then turned the meeting over to David McLain.
David McLain-River Keepers
McLain first explained his criticism of Alan Pierce's notion about code
enforcement. He explained that it was his experience that before bud-
geting, came recommendations for proposed spending. Where money
was going to be spent, had to be defined first and upfront, at least
generally, before the actual number figures were enumerated in the
actual budgeting process. His point being that if enforcement was
not stipulated as an area of spending, it could simply be ignored
when the actual budgeting process began. He suggested that enforce-
ment was one of the public concerns and therefore should be stipu-
lated directly so that it would then qualify for future spending alloca-
tions in the budgeting process.
McLain then began his presentation. He explained that he was not
the whole public but only a representative of a particular part of the
Continued on Page 6
Insurance Emergency For
By Richard E. Noble
Denise Butler made an impromptu visit to the County Commission
meeting this week, she had just received a notice of what she charac-
terized as an "insurance disaster" for Franklin County.
Effective 4/1/05 Franklin County has been re-evaluated for its
wind rating and has received an 84.9% increase.
"I'm here in my role today as an insurance agent in Franklin County.
We got a new rate increase. We knew a new rate increase was coming.
We got an 18 to 20 percent increase last July. You can imagine our
shock when we pulled up the web-site yesterday and discovered that
Franklin County is going to expect an 84.9% increase in wind insur-
ance. It is the second highest in the state of Florida. I've been on the
phone since eight o'clock this morning with Citizen's Wind to try and
find out how that is going to impact individuals. There has been a
12.2% increase across the state-that's the average."
Mrs. Butler went on to contrast some of the surrounding counties
with our own. The increase was ordered by the Commissioner even
though Franklin County had made no wind claims over the past hur-
ricane period. She notified Tallahassee State Representatives and other
concerned people, she informed the commission. 'This is of huge
importance to our community because 94.9% increase means almost
double your wind insurance. Everything outside of the cities are in
the wind pool, pretty much; and that means that we have one source,
Citizen's Property, the state funded company/corporation." She then
handed out a new rate sheet to the board members.
The County Commission is to write a letter to our representatives in
The Nation's First Oyster
Research Lab Scheduled
Grady Leavins, returning from Washington, D.C., informed the Board
of Franklin County Commissioners that he had obtained a commit-
ment of about $300,000 for the construction of a new oyster research
laboratory in Apalachicola-the first of its type in the United States.
He provided the Board a copy of a letter outlining the. project which
would have the county, to supervise .the construction of the building
through its engineering firm. The'county would receive the federal
funds and then authorize their expenditure. The building would be
owned by Franklin County. The Board approved acceptance of the
funds and the supervision design through Preble-Rish Engineers. Mr.
Bill Mahan, Extension Director, would move into the new building
and assume supervision of the lab as he is doing now.
Red Snapper Commercial
Fishery In Gulf Of Mexico
Federal Waters Will Open At
Noon, Feb. 1 2005
The National Marine Fisheries
Service (NOAA Fisheries) an-
nounces the commercial fishery
for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico
federal waters will open at noon,
local time, on February 1, 2005,
and will close at noon, local time,
on February 10, 2005. The 2005
Gulf of Mexico commercial red
snapper quota is 4.65 million
pounds. The commercial fishing
season is divided into spring and
The spring season begins at noon,
local time, on February 1, with
3.10 million-pounds available,
and the Iau season begins at
noon, local time, on October 1,
with the remainder of the annual
quota available. During the spring
and fall seasons, fishing will, be
allowed the first 10 days of each
month until the quota is caught.
The operator of a vessel with a
valid reef fish permit and a Class
1 or Class 2 red snapper license
having red snapper aboard must
have landed' and sold such red
snapper before noon, local time,
on February 10, 2005. The mini-
mum size for the commercial fish-
ery is 15 inches total length.
New Red Grouper, Dolphin
And Wahoo Rules Now In
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Con-
servation Commission (FWC) re-
minds anglers that new rules are
now in effect to manage red grou-
per, dolphin and wahoo.
The daily recreational bag limit for
red grouper now is two fish per
person (within the five-fish aggre-
gate. grouper limit) in Gulf of
Mexico state waters. This limit
also applies in Gulf federal waters.
Florida state waters extend nine
nautical miles offshore in the gulf,
and federal waters extend beyond
The new limit on recreational red
grouper harvest is intended to
help rebuild red grouper stocks
in the gulf. The minimum size
limit for red grouper remains at
20 inches total length, and the
daily recreational bag limit in At-
lantic Ocean state waters is still
five fish per person (under the
five-grouper aggregate limit).'
In addition, new management
rules are in place for dolphin and
wahoo. These rules are intended
to be consistent with recently
implemented regulations for dol-
phin and wahoo in Atlantic Ocean
federal waters, which were devel-
oped to prevent over-fishing of
these species. The FWC has also
implemented other measures to
protect dolphin and wahoo in
state waters. The new rules:
* Designate dolphin and wahoo as
* Establish a 20-inch fork length
minimum size limit for all harvest
of dolphin on Florida's Atlantic
* Establish a statewide maximum
recreational harvest limit of 60
dolphin per vessel (except 10 dol-
phin per paying passenger on
* Establish a statewide daily
two-fish recreational bag limit and
a 500-pound commercial daily
vessel limit for wahoo,
* Require commercial vessels,
harvesting dolphin and wahoo on
the Atlantic coast, to have a fed-
* Prohibit the sale of recreationally
caught dolphin or wahoo (except
qualified for-hire vessels may sell
recreationally harvested dolphin),
* Require all dolphin and wahoo
to be landed in a whole condition.
Other FWC rules that continue to
apply for dolphin include prohib-
iting the commercial harvest and
sale of dolphin less than 20 inches
fork length, a 10-fish daily bag
limit for recreational harvest of
dolphin and limiting dolphin har-
vest to hook and line, long lines
(outside of state waters) and
Barber Seafood in Eastpoint
New Seafood Market On
By Richard E. Noble
If you are of the opinion that the Seafood Industry here in Franklin
County is on its way out, or on the edge of going under, David Barber
of Barber Seafood on Highway 98 at the east end of town just across
from Mr. Cheap Butts and next to That Place on 98, is not the man to
talk to. David is strong on seafood, and especially oysters, here in
Franklin County. And he is putting his money where is mouth is.
David and his wife Stephanie have just added a new building to their
facility on the Eastpoint channel and are planning to open a seafood,
retail outlet right there off the highway. Even though 90% of David's
business is in dealing oysters, he plans to have mullet and grouper
and other fresh seafood items-harvested fresh from area waters. I
talked with David and had a very interesting interview.
R.E.N.: Are you originally from this area, David?
David Barber: Yes sir, Apalachicola. My folks are from Apalachicola.
I've been in the seafood business pretty much since I graduated from
High School. My Daddy fished and then he ran the ferry back and
forth over to St. George Island for a long time. After they built the
bridge, he went to work for Florida State. He ran the research boat for
the Marine Laboratory over at Turkey Point for the University. He was
a Marine Captain.
R.E.N.: At this time, with all of this negative talk we are all hearing
about town, what has given you the inspiration to be expanding your
business and your facility here in Eastpoint.
David Barber: Well, this is what I know. This is what I grew up doing.
For the past twenty years, I have been doing this. I've been in busi-
ness for about the last thirteen years on my own now, and you just do
what you know. It has been good to us. It's hard work, I like doing
this. It is an enjoyable business. It has a lot of ups and downs. The
media hurts us a lot of times. The media really hurts. But, all in all, it
has made us a good living and it has provided for a lot of people in the
R.E.N.: Tell me, you're investing a lot of money here. You must have
a lot of confidence in something. Do you think that this industry is
going to grow, does it really have a future? What do you think?
David Barber: I think that the seafood industry will be around for a
long time-as long as we don't have any water pollution-if the water
stays clean. As long as they don't change the flow of the river and do
too much more against the way Mother Nature intended it to be, I
don't see having any problem with it because oysters reproduce
every year. The Indians have been doing it (harvesting oysters) before
we were here. They were hauling them up the river and making In-
dian mounds. As long as we don't destroy the environment, they will
be here forever (the oysters, not the Indians).
R.E.N.: What about this Vibrio situation and the post harvest treat-
ment? Leven's Seafood over in Apalachicola is freezing oysters. Are
you thinking of getting into any of that?
Front Exterior of Barber's Seafood
David Barber: I'm not fond of frozen oysters. I haven't seen any way
to do oysters any better than the way God Almighty intended them to
be-and that's keeping' them fresh, refrigerated, takin' care of them
and serving' them in that way. A frozen oyster? the quality is just not
there, in my opinion. I've stressed in the past, if they wanted the
oyster post harvest treated so that they wouldn't have Vibrio, make
the restaurants steam them. Steaming raw oysters kills the Vibrio.
But the government didn't want to hear that. They just wanted to
come up with some kind of treatment and there has been a lot of
studies done on it, but they ain't come up with anything that is really
easier or that works well. A lot of oysters die in the summer time.
Some of them are supposed to die. That's the way that they repro-
duce themselves. You got to have shell on the oyster beds for the new
oysters to stick to. It is kind of a natural occurrence. I'm not against
post harvest treatment but I just don't know.
R.E.N.: But aren't you afraid that they might make rules and regula-
tions that inhibit the sale of fresh oysters?
David Barber: Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. They might say that we
can't sell fresh oysters. We might have to freeze them or something
and then we have to go into a whole other process. That would re-
quire another building and more money invested to freeze oysters. I
don't think that you can always protect everybody from what ails
them. Occasionally we do have somebody get sick, even die; but we
sell tons and tons of oysters everyday, and we have very few prob-
R.E.N.: So you obviously think that the fresh market is going to be
there in the future?
David Barber: I think so. If you try to process these oysters, then
ymur market is going to fall. People don't want processed oysters.
j ] ",IFI
East side of Barber's Seafood
Continued on Page 5
Page 2 4 February 2005
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
The Franklin Chronicle,
February 1, 2005
Commissioner Bevin Putnal;
Noah Lockley, Jr. and
County Extension Director
Bill Mahan provided data on
hunting and fishing license sales
in Franklin, Gulf and Wakulla
County during the period July 1,
2002 through June 30, 2003. The
number of licenses sold in
Franklin were 18,662 producing
1$215,477 in revenue. In Gulf
County, the number dropped to
,15,952 on $191,411 of revenue,
and in Wakulla County, the num-
ber was 11,778, and $157,631.
Mr. Mahan also informed the
Board that he was still waiting to
receive the draft Memo of Under-
standing/Memo of Agreement
from the Florida Fish and Wild-
life Commission for the Bluff Road
Regional Boat Ramp.
:Mr. Rich Marcum, Executive Di-
rector of Opportunity Florida,
made a report to the Board of
County Commissioners, an-
nouncing that Governor Bush
:had redesignated the region as a
,"Rural Area of Critical Economic
Concern." He also discussed the
recent statewide rural initiates
report in general terms. A review
and evaluation of the Florida En-
'terprise Zone Program and Incen-
tives is digested in this issue of
Director of Administrative
,Alan Pierce made the following
1. Road Paving: 'The board needs
:to be aware that the speed at
which C.W. Roberts is paving, and
the rate at which the county is
'adding roads to be paved, are
'leading up to one thing-the
;county will not have the neces-
sary cash to pay off the road pav-
ing when the program is finished
'in May/June. I have spoken to Mr.,
Chuck Roberts and generally they
are agreed to receive the county's
gas tax money as it comes in
through October, and then'have
the balance paid in November
,using ad valorem taxes. The
'change orders are not up to date,
;so I can not tell the full cost of
:the road paving program at this
time, but I suspect the Board will
need around $500,000 or more of
-ad valorem taxes to pay off the
program. The Board put in ap-
proximately $600,000 of taxes
:this year to get the paving pro-
"Since the Board is going to be
committed to using some tax rev-
enues next year, does it have ad-
ditional roads to be done? Com-
missioner Crofton wants to add a
short street in Eastpoint, named
'The Board needs to correct the
record regarding the source of
funds used in paving Twin Lakes
Road. The Board used
$138,806.54 of gas tax money to
pave Twin Lakes Road. The money
has been paid but there was never
a change order to the paving pro-
gram indicating that this amount
of gas tax fund was used to pave
the Road. Action requested by the
Finance Office is to approve a
change order to the paving pro-
gram for $138,806.54 for the pav-
ing of Twin Lakes Road."
The Board approved the change.
2. The Board approved a resolu-
tion naming February as Library
Appreciation Month, which fol-
lows the Governor's announce-
ment at the state level.
3. Mr. Pierce informed the Board
that the Eastpoint sidewalk
project will begin this week. It will
create a sidewalk 5 feet wide, and
approximately 1 mile long be-
tween North Bayshore and Wash-
4. The Board approved action to
write DCA Secretary asking him
to direct his staff to submit the
proper documentation to FEMA
for the Lanark Village Drainage
Project. Senator Bill Nelson re-
ceived a letter from FEMA indi-
cating that FEMA had not re-
ceived the design and specifica-
tions from DCA, and thus FEMA
has not released the $155,000 in
5. Mr. Pierce informed the Board
that we have submitted a grant
for landscaping the east side of
Franklin Blvd. on St. George Is-
land, and he also included a re-
quest for landscaping on Gulf
6. Board discussion about the
abandonment of the remaining
part of the alley in Block 6 East,
St. George Island, which is the
block that is now entirely owned
Mr. Monod and Mr. Cheek. Usual
process is to allow the applicant
to set the advertisement and pay
all associated costs. Ms. Christy
Branch is here to ask that the
abandonment hearing be set for
March 1. The Board approved an
abandonment hearing for March
7. Mr. Pierce said he misinformed
the Board regarding the county
safety program. According to the
Finance Office, the county re-
ceives a 2% reduction on its in-
surance premium if it has a
countywide safety program. It is
not adequate to havhethe indi-
vidual departments be respon-
sible for their employees. There
has to be an overall committee.
The first committee included such
people as the Clerk, the Road
Superintendent, Solid Waste Di-
rector, Emergency Management
Director, and .a representative
from the Sheriff s Office. The com-
mittee is required to meet quar-
terly and discuss general safety
issues. In order for the county to
be consistent with its insurance
requirements, I recommend the
Board re-institute the county
safety committee, and have me
replace the Clerk, since I now
have janitorial staff under my di-
rection. The Committee will meet
and appoint -its own Chairman
unless the Board has a prefer-
ence. The Board accepted Mr.
8. Affordable housing: "The
county receives SHIP funding,
which has $35,000 for adminis-
tration. Currently, the adminis-
tration is spent solely on the SHIP
program. I have spoken to Mr.
Michael Moron, SHIP administra-
tor, and he recognizes and sup-
ports the SHIP administrator be-
ing responsible for a broader job
of developing an affordable hous-
ing program for the county. He is
not interested in doing that, and
would step aside if the Board
wants a broader affordable hous-
ing program. If the Board would
like to see the SHIP program be-
come an affordable housing pro-
gram, it needs to take action to
broaden SHIP administrator re-
sponsibilities. The first step would
be to decide to use this SHIP ad-
ministrative funds for a broader
purpose, which is allowable ac-
cording to Mr. Moron. The second
step is to ask the Senior Citizen
Center if they want to administer
this broader program. If they do
not, then the county would take
back the SHIP program, and hire
an affordable housing administra-
tor who would run the SHIP pro-
gram as well as develop affordable
housing, probably with a citizen
The Board perceived the recom-
mendation as a way of getting a
county program on Affordable
Housing started. Approved.
9. Code enforcement: "Mr. Pierce
believes the Board needs to de-
velop spine form ,of code renforce-
ment. At this time, M's.. Amy.
Hamm in the Planning Office is
interested in expanding her skills
and wants to try Code Enforce-
ment. One way for the Board to
decide if it Is ready for code en-
forcement is to allow Ms. Hamm
to become a part-time code en-
forcement officer, and work with
some sort of structured Code En-
forcement Board. Over time, this
may work into a full-time position,
but the Board can make that de-
cision after it gets a sense of the
work load. If the Board does al-
low Ms. Hamm to become a
part-time Code Enforcement; I will
need to pick up a part-time cleri-
cal person to fill in when she is
out in the field. If the Board will
allow me to. investigate some op-
tions, I will come back to the
Board at the next meeting with a
proposed staffing pattern. The
Board also needs to direct the,
county attorney to research some
options in the creation and pow-
ers of a code enforcement board,
because there is no point in cre-
ating a Code Enforcement Officer,
without some Board to report to
that will review the issues."
The Board approved Mr. Pierce's
10. Ted Mosteller says that
enough progress has been made
at the airport so that the DOT in-
spector is willing to let Ted ask
for a 60 day extension on the air-
port operating permit: The Board
11. The Board authorized pay-
ment to Johnny Millender for
cleaning out for Old Ferry Dock
boat basin for less than $5000.
12. Resurfacing of Las Brisas Way
and controversy associated with
it. "Morris Palmer has been wait-
ing a long time for the county to
fulfill its obligation on allowing
Las Brisas to be raised and resur-
faced. When the county received
a letter threatening legal action, I
contacted Mr. Shuler, and I called
C.W. Roberts and told them to
hold off. Mr. Palmer does not want
to hold off. He has a permit which
legalizes the filling of wetlands
that occurred by a previous de-
veloper and there is no other per-
mit for any other solution at this
time. Ms. Joyce Estes, Chairman
of the Northwest Florida Water
Management District told me she
has directed the District's chief
hydrologist to investigate the
problem. I spoke to Mr. Lee
Marchman and he is evaluating
the situation. He believes raising
the road will contribute to more
flooding, but he has not given me
anything in writing. Essentially
his solution is for the county to
re-establish the ditches in the
drainage casement that was part
of the subdivision plat. The
county did not fill the ditches, but
according to Mr. Palmer he had
to fill the ditches to avoid sanc-
tions by DEP."
The county attorney recom-
mended the Board not take any
formal action in the matter, indi-
cating that this was essentially a
private matter. Bevin Putnal
moved that the county not per-
mit the road to be raised until
competent opinion was received
on the flooding concern.
13. The Planning Dept. has re-
ceived several complaints about
overnight camping and the drop-
ping oftrailers fall of construction
material in the St. George Island
parking lot. The parking area is
designed for day traffic, not over-
night camping or a storage area
for boats, trailers, and other com-
mercial vehicles. Board direction
to the attorney, to write an ordi-
nance prohibiting overnight
camping and the placement of
trailers in the parking area.
The Board directed the county
planner research the law with the
county attorney on the issue and
14. "Fish and Wildlife is develop-
ing a Public Input Forum to ad-
dress hunting and fishing regu-
lations. I have a copy of the form
for anyone to use who has a con-
cern about freshwater fish and
wildlife resources and their use."
15. Discussion of general C-5
standards. "I am still working on
the development of C-5 stan-
dards, but essentially I am mov-
ing toward the concept of perfor-
mance based zoning. This means
the county would be flexible on
the types of uses, so long as the
impact was properly dealt with.
That is, if a developer is willing to
put in a better sewage treatment
facility, such as an AWT, and will
treat his stormwater properly,
then the county will allow more
residential uses. The county and
the environment would be better
protected, and the property owner
would get more use out of his
property. The issue that I am still
reviewing, is how to treat the re-
quirement for commercial space
and commercial parking require-
ments when the developer feels.
there is no market for such. Ba-
sically, if the county is requiring
a non-desirable use, such as re-
quiring commercial space, should
the county also be requiring a
property owner to preserve park-
ing spaces for a future commer-
cial use, or can the county en-
courage the development of cen-
tralized parking area with the
developer's money in lieu of mak-
ing them reserve commercial
parking spaces. Obviously, they
will need some on-site parking,'
but there is a public benefit to
having a large well maintained
parking area, and then the com-
mercial area itself has sidewalks
and pedestrian amenities that
make it nice to walk around."
A variance request was discussed,
by the Commissioners involving
lot23 at Alligator Point, owned by's
Raymond Hurst, represented by
Dan Garlick. An earlier proposal -
had been rejected by the Board of
Adjustment. The Board decided to
defer a decision on the matter'
until the next Board of Adjust-
ment meeting on February 15,
"SGI Georgetown Village"
By Richard E. Noble
Jim Waddell of the Inovia Consult-
ing Group was at this weeks meet-
ing to discuss a new idea and his
company's alternative to the ever
expanding row-type commercial
developments otherwise known as
the Skinny-mini's out on St.
George Island. He proposed what
he termed a "Village" concept.
"What is an alternative to these
Skinny-mini's on these 25 foot
lots?" he asked, hypothetically. He
then expounded on "a unique ar-
rangement" of buildings so de-
signed and positioned on the
property to allow, not only for
parking but "green spaces" (grass,
plants, trees) and more efficient
water run-off and drainage. He
handed out a plat laying out a
proposed development which
would exemplify this "village" con-
cept. One of the goals of the new
concept is to meet suggested re-
, ductions in the impervious area
from 80% to 50%. 'This particu-
lar project boasts 41% impervious
area-rooftops and driveways. So,
this is a substantial reduction,
which creates great opportunity
for more green space, less storm
water run-off and certainly invites
people to come and walk around."
His design while meeting all pre-
vious zoning rules and regula-
tions-being 41% impervious and
providing on site parking, is also
"density neutral"-his example
containing only seven units.
Mr. Waddell suggested that this
village concept may be a good, ef-
ficient, and more attractive alter-
native to strip-mall and other tra-
ditional type commercial building
Tate's Hell State Forest
should be a larger amount this
up-coming year. "It should be
substantially higher, as time goes
on," Mr. Haddock prophesied,
Nearly 230 acres of Longleaf pine
have been machine planted this
year; 80 acres of Longleaf and 30
acres of Slash pine, along with 20
acres ofwiregrass plugs have also
Most of the burns have been heli-
copter burns. Conditions have
generally been better than aver-
age for burnings this winter. "We
have done several night burns
and have used the Federal Pre-
scribed Burning School to help
meet our objectives. We are half-
way to our goal of 40,000 acres
for winter bums," Haddock ex-
The Gator Creek Project funded
by the Northwest Florida Water
Management District installed 4
hardened low water crossings and
removed sections of two roads.
They installed two 68 foot bridges
and DOF will install 12 ditch
plugs after the bridges are com-
Culverts will be installed along
with a low water crossing and two
sections of road will be removed
as a part of the Carrabelle Rock
Womack Creek Restoration Area,
located at the end of Jeff Sanders
road overlooking the Ochlockonee
River, opened on Thanksgiving
weekend. It boasts 12 primitive
tent campsites which include run-
ning water, hot showers, picnic
pavilion and a boat ramp.
A new hiking trail will open within
the month. It will extend 7 miles
from Yent's Bayou to the original
trailhead at Highway 98. There
are some new off-road vehicle
trails in the planning along with
a few bathrooms and a parking
,area or two.
Mr. Haddock then spoke about
new land transfers and acquisi-
tions, wild fires and his staffs and
the Forest Service's assistance
activities during the past hurri-
cane year and their concerned
involvement in other emergency
Ms. Sanders on behalf of the Com-
mission complemented Mr. Had-
dock on his presence and presen-
tation and informed him of how
important the forest and its
guardians are to the people of
Franklin Counv.' ,, t .-r .i-:
Civic Club Hears Library
Judi Rundel, Library Assistant at
the Franklin County Public Li-
brary, was the main presenter at
the January 20th meeting of the
St. George Island Civic Club
which was held at the St. George
Island Volunteer Firehouse. After
a delicious pot luck supper, the
crowd of about 65 heard how the
Franklin County Public Library
came into being in 1992 with the
Friends of the Franklin County
Public Library joining forces with
the established public libraries of
Jefferson and Wakulla Counties
to form the Wilderness Coast Pub-
lic Libraries. WILD, as it is known,
is a three-county cooperative
which serves as fiscal administra-
tor for some of the library's grant
funded programs, provides the
very visible bookmobile, and pro-
vides the technical expertise (a
technical librarian) to keep our
library on top of technological
advances within the information
The Friends of the Franklin
County Public Library serves as
fiscal agent for most of the
Library's grant funded youth and
literacy programs and is the main
fund raising arm of the Library
which was evident when they
raised all the matching funds re-
quired for the construction of the
new Carrabelle branch building.
The Friends will become instru-
mental again as the Eastpoint li-
brary branch building project gets
underway this year. Ms. Rundel
reported that, at this time, suit-
able land in Eastpoint is being
looked at and a building fund has
been established. On Saturday,
March 12th a "Let's be Friends".
brunch will be held at the
branch's current location of 29
Island Drive in the Point Mail.
Attendees of the Civic Club were
asked to mark their calendars for
One of the main focal points of the
presentation was the importance
of the Library's volunteer staff.
The Franklin County Public Li-
brary operates the two branches,
Carrabelle and Eastpoint, with
three county employees. Without
the dedication of the volunteer
staff, the Library would not be
able to serve the public for the 61
collective weekly hours that it
does. The highlight of each year
is the Volunteer Tea put on by the.
library staff to honor all the vol-
Ms. Rundel mentioned a number
of the national and state awards
that the Franklin County Public
Library has received in its short
history. The crowd broke into ap-
plause as the latest of these
awards, the 2004 New York Times
Librarian Award, honoring direc-
tor, Eileen Annie Ball, was men-
Besides the normal services a
public library provides-reading
materials, a public meeting place,
computer access-the Franklin
County Public Library provides
after school youth programs, fam-
ily literacy programs, summer
reading, an online book club, a
face-to-face book club (held at the
Eastpoint branch), author read-
ings, and interlibrary loan ser-
vices. It was also pointed out that
between the two branches, the
Library has just about every
bestseller listed in this week's
Publishers Weekly. Everyone
laughed when Ms. Rundel said
that John Grisham's new novel,
The Broker is also available-and
it's not even on the list yet.
The presentation ended with a
brief comparison of the Library's
annual budget and per capital ex-
penditure compared with the
State averages. The statistics were
based on the 2002-2003 fiscal
year numbers received at the Li-
brary that very day. For example,
the per capital expenditure in
Franklin County is $10 less than
the State average.
Valentine Eve Concert
The Ilse Newell Fund for the Per-
forming Arts will present "A
Valentine's Eve Concert" on Sun-
day, February 13th at 4:00 p.m.
at Trinity Episcopal Church,
Apalachicola. This concert will
bring some ofApalachicola's most
talented and entertaining per-
formers, who will present "roman-
tic" music and dramatic excerpts
to celebrate this favorite holiday.
There will be vocal solos by Roger
Jones, Carla May, Tamara Marsh,
Cyn iIthi.i Fehe', atId Randy Mims;
bagpipes by Chris Clark, vocal
duets by Tamara Marsh and
Randy Mims and Sandra and
Gordon Adkins. There will also be
a piano solo by Bedford Watkins,
a piano and flute duet by Tom
Adams and Bedford Watkins, with
"barbershop" selections by the
Baykeeper Quartet and a drama
presentation by the Dixie Thea-
tre's Cleo and Rex Partington.
The Ilse Newell.Concert Series is
sponsored by the Apalachicola
Area Historical Society, a 501-(c)
3 educational incorporation in the
State of Florida. A $2.00 donation
is re'quisted'at the door for those:
not holding season memberships.
Ace Haddock, operations admin-
istrator for the Forest Service gave
the Commission a report on what
has been happening out in the
A timber management sale of
about ten thousand acres, a three
year project, is about at its half-
way mark," Mr. Haddock informed
the board. Money from these tim-
ber sale's projects goes into a tim-
ber trust fund. The County gets
15% percent of these earnings,
the rest goes to the management
of the forest. The County's fifteen
percent goes to the school board.
It amounted to about 22 thou-
sand dollars last year, but it
The Franklin Chronicle
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
4 February 2005 Pae 3.
EDITORIAL & COMMENTARY
Escalating Real Estate
A Mixed Blessing
By Richard E. Noble
I was sitting on the front porch of my 1983 model, single-wide-out
on my one acre lot on the old Escape Rd., reading the Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, when a lady driving a
Hummer pulled into my oyster-shell drive.
A Hummer is truly an impressive vehicle but I've always felt that if I
had enough money to buy a Hummer, why not go all the way and get
an armored troop carrier or a full-fledged legitimate tank. You know -
how impressed the other little children at the schoolhouse would be,
if my little junior tumbled out of a tank along with his camouflage
lunch box and one of them hand-held shoulder rocket launcher things.
Even without the green barrette, I'm sure little R.E. Noble Jr. would
be the talk of all the third grade wanna-bees. Driving a Hummer has
always seemed kind of like the Drug Store Cowboy kind of a thing to
The female driver of the Hummer parked in my oyster-shell drive was
equally impressive and appropriate to her choice of vehicle. She looked
like a cross between Gloria Swanson and Erma Bombeck. She was a
little chubby but dressed as though she wasn't. She was beaming as
she approached the wooden steps of my Home Depot, personally con-
structed, wrap-a-round porch. I was really proud that my wife had
finally put up the two-by-four hand railing on the side of the steps if
:this lady happened to fall climbing up my steps, I'm sure that my
Insurance wouldn't cover the cost of one of her high heels.
'Tell me," she inquired exuberantly, "would you happen to know if
the owners of the lots on either side of you are looking to sell their
"No I don't, but why do you ask?" I queried.
"Well, property values in this neighborhood are escalatingrapidly and
I was just wondering if they might be interested in listing their prop-
erties with my realty company."
"Well, I don't know about them, but, if the prie price were right, my wife
and I might be willing to sell," I offered, brazenly.
"Why not? What do you think that I could get for this place?"
She looked around the property, slowly. She spent a few seconds
eye-balling my two out-buildings. I had built one of the buildings
from wood and tin that I had gathered out on St. George Island after
hurricane Elena; the other was constructed from some slab cypress
that I had gotten for free over at the old sawmill in Apalach a number
of years ago. As she scoped but my single-wide with the rear add-on
addition, I secretly wished that my wife had not painted the darn
trailer pink. The paint that she had bought on the discount shelf at
the Ace hardware was labeled Dusty Rose, but now that it was on the
trailer, it sure looked pink to me. I was sure that the pink color would
knock a couple of hundred off her evaluation.
Finally, she took a pad out of her suit jacket pocket and with a gold
pen that sparkled with embedded jewels she scribbled something onto
the pad. Then she tore off the page, folded it in half, and handed it to
me. I unfolded the paper.
There was nothing written on the page but a long series of numbers.
I couldn't figure for the life of me, why the woman would scribble
down the current National Debt onto a piece of paper and hand it to
me. After inquiring, she explained; 'That is not the National Debt. It
is my estimate of what I think you can sell this property for."
I was tremendously excited, but being a very shrewd businessman
and experienced in the deceptive art of the "poker face", I remained
quiet, motionless and excessively non-plussed. I wanted to say some-
thing calm and casual. I wanted her to think that I actually had the
,ability to express verbally the long line of numbers she had written
[onto that scrap of paper; but truthfully, after so many digits I get my
millions and billions all jumbled up. After a very pregnant pause, I
scratched my chin and asked thoughtfully; "Did you get my wife's
potting shed in the back?"
-'No, where is it at?" she asked.
1I took her for a walk out over my mounded septic tank to the potting
eshed. It was only tien wire but it was really neat. A few
-.years back we had a few chickens none of them were much at fight-
;ing, so we ate them. My wife then converted the chicken coup into a
potting shed. She had some of those plastic tomato sprouting things,
1~a bunch of clay pots, some gloves, a funny, purple hat with a big
:-floppy brim, and a Garden Way wheelbarrow. The Garden Way wheel-
-barrow, itself, cost over a hundred bucks. The Hummer lady said
.that the potting shed was really sweet and that she could see no
-reason why it would not add twenty to thirty thousand to her esti-
Knate. I, of course, nodded thoughtfully in agreement.
'-We walked back to her Hummer chatting casually. I told her that I
-would have to talk it over wifh my wife, but I would definitely get back
"with her. She handed me her card. Her card had a picture of her way
-back when she was still in high school. I thought the jumping rope in
: / -POST OFFICE BOX 590
c-- R- EASTPOINT, FLORIDA 32328
: 850-670-1687 (OFFICE)
T" Facsimile 850-670-1685
(1 IoN J e-mail: hoffer531 @gtcom.net
THE FRANKLIN COUNTY CHRONICLE, INC.
Vol. 14, No. 3 February 4, 2005
Publisher Tom W. Hoffer
S Director of Operations .... Andy Dyal
* Contributors ............................................. Dawn Radford
S............ Carol Noble
S............ Richard Noble
............ Skip Frink
S Advertising Design
and Production Artist............................... Diane Beauvais Dyal
SCirculation Associate .............................. Jerry W eber
" Production Associate .... Tawnee Sadler
Citizen's Advisory Group
Rand Edelstein ......................................... Alligator Point
S Karen Cox-Dennis ........ Apalachicola
Skip Frink ................................................ C arrabelle
S David Butler Carrabelle
SElizabeth and Jim Sisung ........................ Eastpoint
Bedford and Eugenia Watkins................. Eastpoint
Barbara Revell Lanark Village
Richard Harper ..................... .............. St. George Island
F r s Back Issues
For current subscribers, back issues of the Chronicle are
available free, in single copies, if in stock, and a fee for
postage and handling. For example a 10 page issue would
cost $2.00 postpaid. Please write directly to the Chronicle
for price quotes if you seek several different or similar
issues. In-county subscriptions are $16.96 including tax.
Out-of-county subscriptions are $22.26 including tax.
Changes in subscription addresses must be sent to the
Chronicle in writing.
All contents Copyright 2005
Franklin Chronicle, Inc.
addition to the prom dress was a little tacky. f helped her up-into the
cab; she backed out of the oyster-shell drive, and hummed on down
the Escape Rd.
When I showed my wife the piece of paper with the lady's estimate of
our property written on it. She was speechless for a moment or two
but then finally she asked; "Did she get my potting shed on there?"
"Yes, she did," I informed her.
She then quickly and quietly rushed to the bedroom and got on the
phone to her sister. After a number of hours of giggling, laughing and
screaming into the telephone receiver, she returned to the kitchen
table with a very serious look on her face.
"I don't think that we should sell," she said.
I could hardly believe my ears. Was she crazy? What could she possi-
bly be thinking.
"Because, like Sallie says, if our property is worth this much today,
what do you think that it will be worth a year from now? And, don't
you think that if this stranger is willing to offer us that much money,
she must know something that we don't know? Maybe Publix wants
to buy this whole neighborhood or Disney or Donald Trump! If we
sell it now we could possibly lose millions."
The greediness of her remarks at first shocked me, but then after a
moment I began thinking of Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan.
Andrew Carnegie sold U.S. Steel to J.P. Morgan for two hundred mil-
lion dollars, only to learn years later that J.P. Morgan would have
paid him three hundred million if he had only held out a little longer.
Andrew Carnegie never got over the humiliation and embarrassment
and went to his grave feeling cheated and outsmarted. I certainly
didn't want to spend my last days living like Andrew Carnegie. Some-
times, I'll bet he didn't even want to come out of the suite of his
luxury liner yacht. What a horror it must have been hiding away in
that 'big lonely castle in Scotland. Not me. One should learn some-
thing from reading history.
Carol and I have decided not to sell, even though nobody has actually
offered to buy our property yet. I can't imagine what type of person
would want to pay all that money for my pink single-wide, with a
re-cycled chicken coup. But then in today's world, I suppose that
there could be a nice rich lady out there driving a pink Lamborghini
with a very prized arnd much beloved pet chicken-it could happen!
By Judi Rundel
The Franklin County Board of County Commissioners has declared
February as Library Appreciation Month in accordance with Gover-
nor Bush's statewide proclamation. In keeping with the theme of pro-
viding enrichment programs for our citizens, the Franklin County
Public Library cordially invites the public to meet children's author,
Timothy Weeks. Mr. Weeks will read from his book, The Wise Mullet of
Cook Bayou. The book reading and signing will take place on Tues-
day, February 15th at the Carrabelle Branch beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be served.
During the week of February 15th, the Friends of the Franklin County
Public Library, Inc. will hold a book sale at the Carrabelle branch.
The students in the Library's WITH-ITI program will assist in this
effort and proceeds of the sale will be sent to UNICEF to help the
children who are victims of the recent tsunami in Indochina.
The Library's Advisory Board is looking for volunteer board mem-
bers. For more information, please stop by at the Eastpoint or
The FROG Family Learning Program's T'ai Chi, Chih,lis, now.being
offered two times on Wednesdays at the Carrabelle Branch--once from
1:30 2:30 p.m. and again from 5:00 6:00 p.m. This is a gentle
movement form of meditation suitable for any age and fitness level.
The Franklin County Public Library's programs-FROG, WITH-IT!,
and TIGERS-are offered at no cost to participants. Registration how-
ever is required. For information about the library and any of its pro-
grams please call 607-2366, 670-8151, or 653-2784 or view the
Library's website located at www.fcpl.lib.fl.us.
EASTPOINT, FL 32328
S) Apalachicola, Fla.
A Not-For-Profit Theatre
Our Inaugural Hit
Back by Popular Demand!
Feb. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
Friday, Saturday- 8 p.m.
Movie Info Line
OThe Wise Mullet -
01 of COOKL Faou ,
Timothy Weeks Interview
Author of "The Wise Mullet of Cook Bayou"
Author Timothy Weeks dropped by the Chronicle offices last week to
talk about his new book, which appears to be a "best seller" in the
panhandle. This fish tale begins in the muddy waters of Cook Bayou
located in the author's hometown of Panama City, Florida. The ad-
venture begins as the Wise Mullet traverses the inlet waters of East
Bay and experiences the native' sites and wonders of coastal Bay
county. Mr. Weeks will be appearing at the Carrabelle Library on Feb-
ruary 15th at 6 p.m. to discuss his work and answer questions.
Here is what he had to say last week.
Chronicle (CH): Can you tell us a little about the morale of the story?
Timothy Weeks (TW): You have to be strong inside & self-reliant;
adapt, persevere, hang in there, no matter how stormy the seas.
The Wise Mullet becomes wise not because of who he was or what he
said, but how he acted.
The dumb mullet, meanwhile, he's scared of change and wants his
today to be like his yesterdays. He ends up in the frying pan.
But you can't go hammering these morals into kids heads. Well you
can, but if their head's as hard as mine was you'll wear out your
hammer. The trick, the artful way, is by fable.
CH: Besides the moral message of the story, what else are you trying
to communicate to your readers?
TW: I'm trying to invigorate that sixth sense-the sense of wonder.
Look around, life, nature-it's majestic. So wake up, open your eyes
& feast on the beauty.
CH: What made you want to write a children's book about mullet?
TW: I grew up commercial fishing and I make my living writing, so I
was just connecting the passion dots of my life: reading, writing and
Our Redneck Riviera doesn't have the literary tradition that say, Mis-
sissippi, or New Orleans has. Actually, it doesn't have any literary
tradition (Ha -ha, big grin).
I wanted to write, a book for folks who don't normally read books.
Sounds like commercial suicide I know, but I've been humbled by the
reception I've been given.
Spending time with poor performing students and seeing their eyes
catch fire about reading because they can relate to fishing-what a
blessing that is.
CH: And why mullet?
TW: It's a humble fish. A bottom feeder, trash fish to outsiders-kind
of how they view the locals. But from Apalachicola to Mobile, where
the bottom is sandy, they are our special fish. You see, during the
Depression, salted mullet were the whole economy-almost what
Buffalo meant to the plains Indians. So mullet still have a strong
resonance with the old-timers, and they want to pass that legendary
heritage down to their grandkids.
And let's face it. Most of us along the Gulf Coast are mullet. We may
think we're beautiful billfish, magnificent marlins or sleek like a mack-
erel or grand like a tuna; but we're mullet-or maybe largemouths.
CH: You're bio reads like a traveling circus. How does a commercial
fisherman from Panama City get to be a tech analyst in Amsterdam?
TW: By first playing jazz in New Orleans, then teaching sixth grade in
Spanish Harlem in New York, then covering the European Central
Bank in Germany, before being an IPO reporter in Belgium for CNBC.
Continued on Page 8
Wei 10,1 U Izz, I .-Aitchor
Prudential --4- eatti Sl
Resort Realty IIf lart'Tnr
H(aifiItait ,Eor Hbum a n (y
Charles Atkins with Sir Charles Trio ft Friends
FSU Brass Quintet Wakulla Band with William, Walter fE Susan Solburg
plus local performers Candida Robertson John Mazzanovich
6:30p Reception 7:30p Musical Revue 9:00p Mardi Gras Carnival & Dance
Saturday Night Feb 5 2005
Gulf State Community Bank or call 653-3113
ommty Cook Prudential
S-. ,, A .Resort Realty
Joff Galloway Team
George Mahr and Pam Miller have issued a challenge to others to donate to Habitat of Franklin County.
George and Pam will donate up to $10,000 total to match cash donations by other individuals. Silent
auction bids and Mardi Gras ticket purchases will also be matched. George and Pam are doing this in
honor of his father George Mahr who was a founder of the Hobe Sound Habitat affiliate and remains a
I~ I I
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Eric a --
is the time to
subscribe to theC]
Page 4 4 February 2005
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
The Franklin Chronicle
Florida Enterprise Zone Program Attacks Poverty and
Senate Report Reviews The
Study Concludes the Program Lacks Measurable Goals and
Outcomes and Lacks Flexibility to Tailor criteria and
Incentives to the Needs of the Zone Community
In 1994, the Florida Enterprise Zone Act was created to provide means
to help local communities, residents and the private sector in creat-
ing an economic and social environment to stimulate investment of.
private resources in productive business enterprises located in dis-
tressed areas to provide jobs in those areas. Currently, there are 51
state enterprise zones including 26 rural zones and 25 urban zones.
Franklin County is one such zone.
The Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development
(OTTED) administers the Florida Enterprise Zone Act. The Dept. of
Revenue reviews and approves or denies a business's applications for
enterprise zone tax credits, and Enterprise Florida, Inc. is respon-
sible to marketing the act.
The Florida Enterprise Zone Program offers various tax incentives to
businesses located within the designated enterprise zones. In addi-
tion, local governments may also offer their own incentives.
Listed below are all of the Florida incentives for businesses located in
an Enterprise Zone.
1. Jobs Tax Credit (Sales Tax): Rural Enterprise Zones
Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a
sales and use tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new
employees who live within a Rural County. To be eligible, a business
must create at least one new job. The Sales Tax Credit cannot be
used in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Jobs Credit.
2. Jobs Tax Credit (Sales Tax): Urban Enterprise Zones
Allows a business located within an Urban Enterprise Zone to take a
sales and use tax credit for 20 or 30 percent of wages paid to new
employees who reside within an enterprise zone. To be eligible, a busi-
ness must create at least one new job. The Sales Tax Credit cannot
be used in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Jobs Credit).
3. Jobs Tax Credit (Corporate Income Tax): Rural Enterprise Zones
Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a
corporate income tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new
employees who reside within a Rural County. To be eligible, a busi-
ness must create at least one new job. The Corporate Tax Credit can-
not be used in conjunction with the Sales Tax Credit.
4. Jobs Tax Credit (Corporate Income Tax): Urban Enterprise Zones
Allows a business located within an Urban Enterprise Zone to take a
corporate income tax credit for 15 or 20 percent of wages paid to new
employees who reside within an enterprise zone. The Corporate Tax
Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Sales Tax Credit.
5. Business Equipment Sales Tax Refund: Rural and Urban Enter-
A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of certain
business property, which is used exclusively in an Enterprise Zone
for at least 3 years.
6. Building Materials Sales Tax Refund: Rural and Urban Enter-
A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of building
materials used to rehabilitate real property located in an Enterprise
7. Property Tax Credit (Corporate Income Tax)- Rural-and Urban,'
Enterprise Zones "'. -,.
New or expanded businesses located within an enterprise zone are
allowed a credit against Florida corporate income tax equal to 96% of
ad valorem taxes paid on the new or improved property.
8. Sales Tax Exemption for Electrical Energy: Rural and Urban
A 50% sales tax exemption is available to qualified businesses lo-
cated within an Enterprise Zone on the purchase of electrical energy,
if the municipality has reduced the municipal utility tax by at least
9. Community Contribution Tax Credit Program; Rural and Ur-
ban Enterprise Zones
Allows businesses a 50% credit on Florida corporate income tax, in-
surance premium tax, or sales tax refund for donations made to local,
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community development projects, Businesses are not required to be
located in an enterprise zone to be eligible for this credit.
On the local level, success in the Enterprise Program is measured by
the number of projects completed, that took advantage of incentives
and by the number ofjobs created in the enterprise zone. The Annual
Reports by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic
Development are typically viewed as measures of success. The data
are presented in Table 1.
I FISCAL NEW OR JOBS NUMBER STATE
YEAR RELOCATED CREATED OF INCENTIVES
BUSINESSES ZONES USED
2002- 2,268 5,057 51 $5.401,583
2002 1,244 5,630 47 $6,739,551
2000- 654 6,394. 34 S4,746.396
2000 766 5,141 34 S5,458,835
19998- 776 5.305 32 S5,170,899
1998 151 3,572 31 $4,495,2I8
1996- 434 4,573 30 $4,449,941
1995- 128 2,188 19 S3.437,344
If the goal of the program is traditional economic development, objec-
tives directed at raising per capital income, achieving a lower unem-
ployment rate, and creating more jobs should be the primary focus.
Exerting a positive change in these conditions can be difficult if the
current incentives do not have a discernable effect on business be-
havior. However, it appears, at least anecdotally, that incentives can
be a deciding factor, amongst other factors, which influences a
business's decision to expand or locate in a zone.
Further anecdotal evidence from survey responses shows that zones
appeared to have a moderate effect on business location decisions,
with most respondents stating that just more than half of the busi-
nesses who received incentives would have expanded or located out-
side of the zone without the incentives. The survey also asked re-
spondents to rank the effectiveness of the incentives. The results, in
order of importance, were: 1) sales tax refund for building materials;
2) sales tax refund for business property used in a zone, and the jobs
tax credit for sales & use tax; 3) jobs tax credit for corporate income
tax; 4) property tax credit for corporate income tax; and 5) commu-
nity contribution tax credit. It appears that incentives directed at
capital, not employment, were considered to be more effective.
Committee staff also looked at per capital income, the unemployment
rate, and the individual poverty rate in four zones to examine whether
zones have an affect on economic conditions.
The data indicates that in all four zones, per capital Income increased
to a greater degree than in nonenterprise zone areas. In two out of the
four zones, unemployment decreased to a greater degree than in
non-enterprise zone areas, but in the two other zones unemployment
increased. In three out of the four zones, the individual poverty rate
declined. However, because of the number of factors that can affect
economic conditions, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the ef-
fectiveness of enterprise zone incentives in improving the economic
conditions in enterprise zones. The variety of factors that can influ-
ence zone conditions points to the necessity of having other types of
measurable goals in place.
If the goal of the enterprise zone program is the improvement of over-
all zone community conditions, objectives that address those factors
should be the primary focus. Research for this report found that one
of the necessary components to revitalizing a zone community is ac-
,cess to infrastructure. Without water, sewer, and electricity in place.
' zone'tarmnot grow or compete for new buines-s-, location or expan-
sion. Existing. industries in a zone community can also be affected
by a lack of infrastructure. For example, in one particular net ban
zone, many of the residences and businesses near the coast use sep-
tic tanks. Due to normal aging, the septic tanks can leak over time,
which risks polluting the coastal waters that support a local scallop
industry. On a few occasions, scalloping has been curtailed because
of raised pollution levels in the water, which has limited the ability of
this industry to expand. An additional component reported in the
committee's surveys was a lack of transportation facilities (highways,
seaports, airports, or rail systems). Much like a lack of other infra-
structure, without basic facilities in place for a business to ship and
receive goods, a zone community faces a tremendous obstacle to
growth. A further component highlighted during committee staffs
site visits to rural and urban zones, was the need for job training and
a skilled workforce to fill positions. These two factors were frequently
cited as obstacles to improving the zone community. It was also re-
ported that the perception of high crime in combination with poorly
maintained business facades made zone community development ef-
forts very difficult.
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Rural and Urban Zones
The issue of infrastructure and adequate transportation facilities draws
attention to the differences between rural and urban enterprise zones.
Rural communities typically have limited infrastructure in place to
locate new or expanding businesses. Whereas urban zones, in most
cases, have the infrastructure, but face other factors that prevent the
growth of the zone. Additionally, many rural zones have limited trans-
portation facilities that are necessary for growth or for business ex-
pansion or location, whereas urban zones are likely located in acces-
sible communities. It was also reported that the existing statutory
criteria for establishing the size of rural zones may be problematic for
a rural community because the population. is sparsely distributed
across a wide area. From the committee's site visits and surveys, it is
clear that greater attention to the differences between rural and ur-
ban areas may be necessary for the enterprise zone program to work
for both communities.
Limitations to Existing Zone Incentives
The current enterprise zone incentives and criteria to award such
incentives were cited as obstacles to zone community improvement.
* The enterprise zone jobs tax credit (corporate and sales tax) does
not allow credit for the replacement of an existing Job position.
* The sales tax refund for business property used in an enterprise
zone is too small to be a real inducement to change the business
behavior of large businesses ($10,000 max credit, if 20% of employ-
ees are enterprise zone residents and the purchase threshold too high
($5,000 per unit) for most businesses to take advantage of the incen-
* The building materials incentive is useful to businesses and
homeowners, but it may be used only once per parcel, and is unavail-
able if parcels are combined for a project and one of the parcels has
received credit in the past. The maximum possible refund amount
($10,000) is also too small to be a real inducement to businesses and
individuals. Because of their tax status, "C" corporations and limited
liability companies (LLCs) are ineligible for most of the corporate tax
Research for this report shows that an assessment of whether the
enterprise zone program is working depends in large part upon how a
community describes the goals of the program, and how the success
of the program is measured in that community. However, regardless
of how .a community views the goals for its enterprise zone, many
aspects of the current enterprise zone program are limited in their
ability to affect change in communities with enterprise zones. Addi-
tionally, the necessary staffing and marketing of the program is not
in place for the program to be successful in more than a few commu-
nities. A number of adjustments to the program may be beneficial,
and such adjustments will require a greater commitment by state
and local officials for the program to affect change in .enterprise zone
A. Reenactment and Existing Zones
The Enterprise Zone Act of 1994 should be reenacted for an addi-
tional 10 years. It is further recommended that all of the existing
zones be recertified through a process administered by the Governor's
Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED), in
cooperation with Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI). This process would
require a community to submit a letter of intent stating that the gov-
erning body for the community voted to retain its enterprise zone and
requests recertification. As part of the process, the community would
provide an updated zone profile based on 2000 census data, and a
statement as to why zone conditions merit continuation of the zone.
OTTED, in consultation with EFI, would then make a determination
that it is appropriate, or not, to recertify the community's enterprise
zone. If a zone is not recertified, another community wishing to es-
tablish an enterprise zone may apply to fill the opening.
B. Measurement of Goals
As'part,6f theirecerfficationri rocess, a c6iimunity should'berequired
t6o4!tablish'lapdcifiti measiurable goals rforits'enterprise :zone The'
goals would be- reported to and approved 'by OTTED on, anrannual
basis. If improvement of the economic conditions in a zone is the top
priority, factors such as employment, the unemployment rate, in-
come, investment, overall growth rate, and economic diversity should
be clearly defined. Defining relevant factors will allow a program's
success or failure to be evaluated in a more meaningful way.
C. Current Incentives
1) Enterprise Zone Jobs Credit (corporate and sales tax): Amend
the statutory criteria to allow for the filling of a vacancy in an existing
position, as well as creation.of a new job, to qualify for the credit.
2) Sales Tax Refund for Business Property Used in an Enterprise
Zone: Lower the purchase threshold from $5,000 to $500. Further,
allow the maximum refund to be a number greater than $10,000,
which will make the incentive more attractive to a business.
Continued on Page 8
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The Franklin Chronicle
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
4 February 2005 Page 5
New Seafood Market from Page 1
Interior of Barber's Seafood-Shucking Stands
They want tresh oysters. I don't want frozen mullet. When I eat mullet
I want it fresh, right out of the Bay. Mullet don't freeze well and I have
the same feelings about oysters. I don't want no frozen oysters.
R.E.N.: Have you been getting good production out of the Bay?
David Barber: We've been getting pretty good production, but our
sales have been off this year and I think that it is due to what hap-
pened right before Thanksgiving-with this man who ate some oys-
ters and got sick, and the media was blowing it all out of proportion.
They were saying that all of the oysters were polluted; and telling
everybody-don't eat oysters. I think that case has had a long-term
effect. The sales just haven't been near as good as they were last year.
From what I understand (in this case) they didn't buy oysters from
anybody-no dealer or anything I think that they harvested them
themselves. This is just hearsay now, I don't really know. In any case,
he probably shouldn't have been eating them raw if he had liver trouble.
Normally if somebody gets sick from this Vibrio-there is something
wrong with them (the person). They got liver or kidney or something-
sometimes they are alcoholics but unfortunately that is what hap-
pens and it affects all of us. The same thing happens with a lot of
other food-hamburger, chicken whatever. But I don't hear them put-
ting out-don't eat chicken-in any of the newspapers. They (other
food industries) are a lot bigger. We're just a small group of busi-
nesses here in Florida and we're trying to put out a food that is enjoy-
able for people to eat. I go to Washington sometimes and it does seem
to me that we are under a lot of pressure from the shell fish depart-
ment and the government. But most of the time the publicity that we
get, is bad. Like this November it seems that there was nothing else
out there for anybody to print. It seemed that every newspaper, every
radio station, every TV station in the State of Florida had something
about the oysters and everybody getting sick. It jtst made everybody
think that all the oysters were tainted, where it was just this one
R.E.N: How are your catchers doing?
David Barber: Well, the crop is good, but like today we've actually got
our crew shut-off because our sales are down. Normally this time of
year, sales would be good. But, to me it hasn't been near as good as it
was this last year. I think a lot of it (slow sales) is this negative public-
R.E.N: How many catchers do you have working for you?
David Barber: I have, on and off, around forty to fifty catchers and
with drivers and dock staff about twenty more.
R.E.N.: What do you think about this C-I zoning (Commercial-Fish-
ing and Seafood) and maintaining a permanent seafood district alona
the water in Eastpoint, Carrabelle and in Apalachicola?
David Barber: Well if they change that zoning, that's going to be bad
Sfor the seafood;busines .; Nobpdy who builds anvyther kind of a busir,
' ess would want anvAysternbtsin:ss beside, them because of the smell,
i ndworking-a lot"fppeople,; It is just a:3workingman's, business. It's.
not a flower garden. Nobody can now go and buy a pre-existing
oysterhouse and pay the kind of money that they're asking for it and
make enough money in the oyster business to pay for it. It is like it is
R.E.N.: But it is a lot of the dealers, themselves, that want this
re-zoning so that they can sell and make a lot of money.
David Barber: That's true. That is true.
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R.E.N.: Would you like to see it written into the law that these sea-
food districts remain mandated as such-the law?
David Barber: The problem when you have new development-say
the beach front sells out to something other than seafood, it really,
doesn't produce a lot of jobs for your local workers. If they build a
motel, it employs two or three people; if it's condominiums or a ma-
rina it hires a few people but not like an oyster house that accom-
modates a hundred. What eventually will happen is-everybody will
keep selling out, selling out, going for the big money-and then there
is no place left for the seafood house. And then you are, more or less,
putting yourselves out of business.
People in Apalachicola and Eastpoint grew up doing oysters and sea-
food but some of them have had to make a change. There are more
different kinds of jobs now than there used to be. The prison system
which is good for them (workers). They get a lot of better benefits, but
there is still a lot of people who are still oystering. I think that a lot of
people that are coming now to Franklin County are coming here be-
cause they like it the way that it is. A lot of things are still natural; the
fishing is good. We need to be real careful about big development
because it is not going to be the Apalachicola, the Eastpoint that it
used to be if we're not careful. If the town is full of strangers-people
who have come in here and bought up everything-then you don't
have the tradition, the family values. It might happen anyway. There
might be no way that you can stop it. I don't like to tell another man
what to do with his piece of property.
What happens is-say the whole coastline gets sold out; all of Eastpoint
gets sold out and they build a big development I don't think that the
interest in coming down here would be as good. There's not enough
character left. If there is just a ten-story building and that's it, there
is not a lot of stuff for tourist to see then. If people come (now), there's
a lot of oyster boats and shrimp boats and natural resources being
processed and produced. You know, go to Tampa or some place else
where everything is all developed, there's nothing there for you to see.
We've really got to protect our natural resources-whether it is fish,
oysters, shrimp, the beaches, any of those things that make it great
to. live here. What is nice is to be able to get in your boat and go
. somewhere and be somewhere by yourself or with your family for a
day or a half a day and not be crowded and be pushed around or
waiting' in line for things. That's what really makes it nice to be in
Franklin County. That is what I hope we don't lose.
R.E.N.: Have you been keeping up with the problems with the river -
the three rivers system and the problems up in Atlanta?
David Barber: No I really haven't been keeping up with that.
R.E.N.: What about the bag tax. Do you support that or are you against
David Barber: I don't really like that. It serves a good purpose in a
way for the oystermen. But the problem is, there are really only a few
of us who pay it. A lot of dealers, right here, don't even pay it. Other
dealers don't pay it. People come in from other counties and don't pay
it. Dealers in other counties don't have any surcharge on their oys-
ters. The burden has been put on us. If I'm only making three dollars,
you know, fifty cents is a pretty good chunk out of that three-dollar
'. : . '. '
profit. It has not been fair.
R.E.N.: So would you rather see the tax removed or would you like to
see it applied throughout the whole state to everyone?
David Barber: I would likeeto see it removed. I don't think that it has
been that great of a program. They're supposed to replant these oys-
ters in places where they are supposed to reproduce and, a lot of
times, I don't think that happens.
R.E.N.: Do you think that this transplanting program works?
David Barber: I don't think that it has made very much difference in
the production of oysters at all. It has just really been a kind of thorn
in the dealer's side. It just hasn't been fair.
R.E.N.: Doctor Engles, I don't know if you remember him, but years
ago he made the claim that many of our present productive beds
were built-not necessarily by the transplanting program-but by
conservation techniques such as shelling and bed building. Do you
think that those type programs actually work?
David Barber: I think the shell program where the State replants
shells-I think that is a good program. They can do a lot at one time
with a barge. I think that is a very good program. I'm in favor of
keeping that program.
Interior of Barber's Seafood
Continued on Page 6
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Page 6 4 February 2005
New Seafood Market from Page 5
R.E.N.: But that doesn't benefit the workers. Do you think that pro-
viding work for the workers when the bay is shut down is the respon-
sibility of the dealers?
David Barber: I don't know how (to fund that). That is something
that maybe the state can look at and maybe with grants or whatever.
The bay hasn't been closed near as much. They have a better pro-
gram today. They used to close the bay every time we had a little
thunderstorm come up. I think that years ago it used to be a lot of
politics involved, but now I think that they do it a lot better.
They call us up in advance and tell us what's happening. They have a
lot better plan in place now.
R.E.N.: Do you think that the oystermen today are making a living
David Barber: Well the biggest problem with oystering is that as long
as we have a decent crop of oysters they can make good money-as
long as we have good sales. If we don't have good sales, then they
don't get to work. That is what is important about keeping that press
good-you know that bad press hurts us. Pollution, that's another
thing that hurts us.
R.E.N.: Back in '86 through '91 we had two to three thousand
oystermen out there. Today I don't know how many there are. My
question is-is there enough money in it today for the oystermen, or
is it just a part-time job and he needs to find something else to supple-
ment. Is it a dying occupation?
David Barber: Well, I don't think that it is dying. There will always be
folks who want to oyster. It is a job where you don't have to be edu-
cated to do it: you have just got to be willing to work hard. It can
make you a pretty good living. If sales stay good and the quality of
oysters stay good, then I think that we will always have oystering. It
doesn't always have to be a lifetime career. Sometimes, maybe, when
you just need something you can go get onto an oyster boat and go
R.E.N.: Do you have a lot of part-time workers?
David Barber: Oh yes, I have a lot of part-time workers. A lot of law
officers and prison guards still oyster part-time.
R.E.N.: How long have you been at this location here in Eastpoint?
David Barber: I've been here about twelve years. My father-in-law
and his father Dewey Shiver and Lester Shiver were the original own-
ers here. That's my wife's family. They have been here for over two
generations. My wife Stephanie and I have taken over from there and
hopefully our son willtake over from us.
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An Independently Owned and Operated Member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
Temporary Storage, Barber's Seafood
R.E.N.: And without prying into your business-How are you doing
David Barber: We're doing good. It's always a struggle but we make a
living. We work real hard at it. It takes a lot of man-hours. We're here
from eight o'clock to twelve o'clock just about almost every night. It
has its benefits though.
R.E.N.: What are your goals and dreams for this spot that you have
David Barber: I want to have a retail. I built this new building be-
cause I wanted to have a place where people that I know and other
folks who would like to come here and get a gallon of oysters to take
home and eat, can do so. I want them to know that everything will be
clean and taken care of, everything will be processed in a clean facil-
ity-that means a lot to me. I have a lot of family that come by to get
oysters and seafood.
R.E.N.: Can someone come here now, even though your retail build-
ing isn't quite finished and open for business, and pick up a bag of
fresh oysters, for example?
David Barber: Yeah. And we will ice it and put it in your ice-chest for
you. We have fish and other stuff I don't have an actual market yet
but that's the plan. We want to have fresh retail oysters, fish, and
seafood. Nothing cooked but all good and fresh-from the bay, local
seafood. Let's just say this to all the political people and all the people
with the money-most of the people who came here to Franklin county,
came here because they liked it the way it was and the way it is. And
I think that it is important that we keep it that way. If you have to go
out of town to see a movie, or to do some shopping, that is all right
with me-that's the way that I like it. If you want to live in a big city,
move to one.
R.E.N.: If you need a bag of fresh bay oysters, you can pick them up
right down in Eastpoint at Barber's Seafood. They are busy working
in there, getting everything clean, healthy and presentable for the
general public, but they'll be glad to help you out and even ice those
oysters down for you. You can buy fresh-shucked gallons also. Stop
in; say hello.
Comp Plan from Page 1
overall puoic concern. He expanea n me DCA mandate as regards to
the public's participation in this process. He quoted from two DCA
letters to the county:
The planning process will be deliberative and include extensive pub-
lic participation (July 22, 2002)
Inclusive public participation will be an important component of the
process to update the Franklin County comprehensive plan.
'The purpose of this workshop.ls to provide a "draft'"stlinmaryof the
priority publiqc.concerns documented during the series of Visioning
workshops; to seek public comment/validation on that strawmann"
summary and obtain Commission directive to develop detailed objec-
tives and policies to integrate in a Comp Plan update," McLain said
that this was the goal of tonight's meeting. He then went on to list the
DCA focus requirements for the Comp Plan Update.
Protection of natural resources
Protection of cultural heritage
Promotion of economic development
Promotion of Emergency Management (CHRA)
Provision for adequate infrastructure
Provision for adequate housing
Establishment of intensity standards
Definition of allowable uses
"It was on these areas that the DCA based most of it eventual com-
plaints," McLain instructed. He then proceeded to list the related Public
Concerns that ABARK had determined to be most pressing to the
general public at these public meetings.
Highway 98 & 6th Street
is thetime t
The Franklin Chronicle
Enforce regulation of development
Require compatible land use planning
Support viable commercial seafood industry Develop affordable
Support business and workforce Development Preserve Com-
munity character & quality
Protect & preserve natural resources
Establish concurrency (compatible, implied and thus required
infrastructure to support development proposals) and impact
Bevin Putnal then interrupted the presentation to point out that there
was no stipulation made in any of the above, concerning public beach
access to all areas. He expressed how important this concern was to
the public in general and the local residents and the seafood industry
in particular. Mr. McLain agreed and noted that this concern would
be added to his list of recommendations.
Dan Townsmiere-Seafood Industry
Dan Townsmiere was next and he addressed the concerns and the
importance of the commercial seafood industry. In this segment of
the presentation docking, beach access, mooring for shrimp boats
and other commercial crafts were discussed. Boat ramps were of pri-
mary importance. A case was made for the protection of the bay in
order to promote a thriving seafood industry. He quoted gross income
figures from the late 80's and early 90's. Bevin Putnal pointed out
that the shrimping industry was way down in recent years due to
imports and foreign "dumping" and that these figures might not be
accurate. I would suggest that today's oystering, crabbing, and fish-
ing dollar figures would be equally distressing when compared to the
eighties arid nineties.
The commercial C-1 zoning was discussed and the need for its pro-
tection was advocated. Mr. Townsmiere suggested that areas along
the waterfront could be protected and remain C-1. He offered the
notion that Commercial dealers who would remain in these tradi-
tional areas could be sustained for their property loses via protective
laws and subsidies accrued from revenues gained from profiting de-
velopers. There were no developers present who offered any opposi-
tion to this suggestion. I have no doubt that they will be heard from if
this suggestion persists in the future. I have no doubt C-1 property
owners who stand to profit substantially from the sales of these prop-
erties will also be very visible in future discussions of this issue. Mr.
Townsmiere recommended that no changes in C- 1 zoning be allowed
until these issues are resolved.
He then discussed dredging on the river and in the bay. He advocated
a transfer of funds from the river to the necessary areas in the bay -
the Eastpoint channel, for example.
He went on to discuss public education for children seeking a future
in the seafood industry. His program suggested-Established Train-
ing for oystering, shrimping, crabbing and fishing as an alternative
track in high school to encourage individuals and develop profes-
sional and business savvy seafood workers. He suggested that the
fifty cent surcharge on bags of oysters (applicable only to Apalachicola
Bay dealers) must be fairly applied across the state or eliminated for
Franklin County. And that enforcement of seafood houses must be
performed in a cooperative manner that encourages workers and small
dealers to remain in the business. He then suggested a series of Comp
Policy: The County, in cooperation with the State of Florida, will pro-
vide for adequate docking, moorings, boat ramps, and maintenance
facilities for local seafood harvesters, including but not limited to:
shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, and other commercial fisherman.
* At a minimum, an additional 1000' of waterfront property in Two
Mile Channel in Apalachicola, 1000' in Eastpoint and 1000' in
Carrabelle will be purchased and held by the County for the exclusive
use of commercial fishermen. The County will maintain the parking
and ramp areas through the County public works program. A study
will be funded and undertaken to design the appropriate size and mix
of docks and boat ramps.
Policy: Adequate land and equipment will be acquired by the County
in cooperation with the State of Florida for a commercial fishing main-
tenance, facility vard with travel lift and sufficient land for 6 or more
commercial fishing vessels. A study will be funded and undertaken to
design the appropriate size of the facility. The facility will be operated
by a cooperative of local fishermen
Policy: Variances and special exceptions to C-I zoning will not be
allowed unless or until all of the above are resolved.
Policy: The County will cooperate with the school district to fund and
develop a seafood industry technical school curriculum that will pre-
pare local students interested in pursuing work in the seafood indus-
Don Ashley St. James-Summer Camp
Don Ashley, with Habitat for Humanity, was next with a presentation
about the Summer Camp development on St. James Island. He ex-
pressed his concerns with large scale development. He felt that ex-
pert pre-planning was necessary-not only by the developer but by
the community. He gave an example of the misinterpretation of zon-
ing requirements and how a one unit per forty acre development could
turn into an environmentally dangerous congestion of homes and
condos clustered all along a sensitive coastline. He talked of impact
fees, infrastructure, assessment of critical resources and concurrency
costs. Complicated language for-who is going to pay for sewers, wa-
ter, utilities, roads, education, health care and emergency medical
increases due to development. He reviewed the cases made by the
two prior speakers and then hit upon wildlife concerns. He proposed
a Conservation Corridor to protect and enhance natural pathways
that would contribute to the health and survival of native animals
and wildlife. 'This Corridor would be managed primarily for wildlife
and passive recreation, including hunting, fishing, photography, and
bird watching," he suggested. He recommended County Parks with
boat ramps for public access and several other community related
amehities-all of which he suggested should, be a part of the
pre-thought, pre-planned Comprehensive Plan. He wrapped up his
presentation with a brief outline of all of his suggestions and all the
previous ideas presented. The floor was then opened for discussion
with the audience.
Continued on Page 8
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4 February 2005 Paee
Master Planning Workshop Attracts Hundreds
Tall Buildings in Carrabelle,
Mayor says be open-minded
January 18-21, Coldwell Banker Forgotten Coast Realty hosted pub-
lic hearings and some conferences as part of their development in the
C-Quarters Marina's unused restaurant space provided ample room,
and an outstanding panoramic view of the river. The building prop-
erty is being sold to the group, as one of the two base parcels for their
project. The other property is the Marine Systems lot to the east, so
the 2 are separated by one privately owned condo residence.
Advance publicity for the event read: "The sponsors of this event in-
vite all interested parties including homeowners, landowners, busi-
nesses, real estate professionals, developers and any interested citi-
zens of Carrabelle to participate in a planning workshop to discuss
the, future of Carrabelle. Any suggestions on community needs, facts,
and history will be greatly appreciated. The sharing of ideas and in-
formation is essential for a successful planning process. The intent of
the workshop is to set a vision for Carrabelle's future. For further
A total of 11 hours of meeting time, with some overtime, resulted.in
capturing many different views from attendees. There were common
threads in the comments: access to the water, boat launch places,
water views, parking, appearance of the project, what is the timing,
how extensive will the project be? and so on.
Typical of an architecturally designed and "city-planned" effort, Sam
Justice's wrap-up on Friday morning focused on more than just the
building and its property. His visuals and his comments repeatedly
revolved around the total use of the area, inside and outside their
own property lines. A little confusion was caused by the concept map,
which showed different colored areas covering dozens of blocks of
Carrabelle land on and away from the river. The reason for the ex-
parided view, he explained, was to give the city a master plan at no
charge that could be the basis for a long-term development plan.
"Miami, Destin, Panama City,:;. none of them startedwith a master
plan, ;and'look at them..." 'Only 2 things "can't be changed": the DOT
state highway (98J and the river. Everything else can be planned or
re-planned. 1.!' :, -r, .,rI .:
He showed a multi-block "CBD", central business district, that started
at the river bend at 98 and Tallahassee Street, and reached several
blocks north, south and east. The reason to focus business in one
location is to prevent the drive through town to be solid business on
both sides of the highway, so that is the only view for residents and
visitors. "Your business of the future is tourism, and so you want
them to stop". The Gulf State Bank greenspace was noted as a good
example of the effect of a park-like area along the drive, and a good
start for a mostly-residential stretch going west toward the bridge.
He also enlarged on an idea that Mayor Brown has spoken of for 2
years: put all the city services (town hall, police, fire, post office, etc)
together on one location with ample parking, and away from the ex-
pensive river real estate. The ballpark is a perfect city-owned spot, is
accessible to everybody, and the county sports facility going up not
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far away will replace it.
Jim Brown, after some back-and-forth about the 35-foot height limit,
put forth an idea. "Think of taking a certain lot size, maybe an acre,
and allowing a 5 or 6-story building on it. Not on the water, but back
a few blocks." Then, he explained that the building might only occupy
1/4 of the property and the other % must be left as greenspace. In
th,is),w,ay,, ,thelieity. would.havea-.-vae.red look, there would 'be
million-dollaraajtews that would rint restrict water view at the nrer,
and the greer-s'pace on the ground would be friendly fbr walking or
driving. Mixed reactions met that idea, but seemed to be mostly ei-
ther positive or reserved. Last year's unfortunate citizen referendum
to stop a PUD ordinance, that was motivated by the belief that city
actions were leading to a Panama City-type look and problems, has
left a taint on new development ideas but this group may have sown
a seed of re-thought. One observer made the comment that they "...bet-
ter not bring up that 1000-foot high idea again!"
The presenter emphasized that considering modifications in some
existing rules might bring great benefit to the city's appearance and
growth. For instance, the 35-foot limit is measured from the bottom
of the lowest heated living space, not the ground. That opens up an
opportunity for under-building parking and other non-climate con-
trolled uses. This is allowed now. However, he pointed out that the
natural result of our inflexible height limit will be rows of flat-topped
35-foot buildings, not a pretty sight. So his summary suggestion is
that we at least relax the current restrictions against even wind vanes
and chimneys going higher, and also consider going the step further
to except roofs. "Roofs are what you see when you drive into an area",
and are an important design feature. He implied that the more steep
the pitch, and thus the height, the more pleasing to view.
If there was any predominant theme that touched all-points of the
conference, it was the emphasis on a walking-friendly city.
Greenspaces, off-highway parking, wide paths or boardwalks, access
to shopping right on the walks or boardwalks, were oft-repeated items.
'This developer", he noted, "will do it right" where streetscaping and
riverscaping is concerned. "But we can't make others do the same
thing. The city..." will have to monitor 'other developments and exist-
The particular physical feature most discussed was the concept of a
"riverwalk": an on-water boardwalk that is planned to line the river
property of both pieces of the project, which appears to be 500 feet or
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more in length. The idea was explained to be me seed of what would
hopefully be a city-mandated drive to get the riverwalk eventually to
stretch from the Moorings marina all the way around to the river
pavilion on Marine Street. 'He explained that the concept was much
more than just "a nice big deck", but a 20-foot wide boardwalk for the
public to enjoy walking, rollerblading, sitting and just enjoying being
right down on the river. Current private owners of other property can
not be forced to build their sections of the walkway, but the city can
make an ordinance that upon sale of property, the new developer
must build the connecting piece. Mr. Justice suggested also that ex-
isting owners could be offered incentives by the city, such as getting
improved or additional slips for boats if they build their section of the
Next most talked-over concept was the building design itself. The il-
lustration shows how the riverwalk will connect to and bypass the
building. The foundation is dug down to provide a street-level en-
trance to the first floor, but under-the-building parking/commercial
spaces facing the river, etc. The most difficult point raised during the
session came from Paul Osterbye, who has developments building in
Carrabelle. He asked what they could do- to insure that there would
be a view of the water, even if it were under the building and around
the parked cars. After explanation of maximizing the usable space,
reminding listeners of the new river view walking access and hiding
the parking, no conclusion to the subject was reached.
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Comp Plan from Page 6
Public Participation and Conclusion
One gentleman reiterated the importance of direct beach access. The
goal he said would be to provide pleasant, physically safe, environ-
mentally sound beach and water access for the public on all the ma-
jor beaches and public water bodies of the County in ways and loca-
tions that do not adversely impact natural resources or already es-
tablished residential neighborhoods or commercial areas. His goal, if
I may interpret, was to establish that the County should ensure far
more than a few simple right-of-way passages between high-rises and
condos leading to public beaches. These access areas-parks, picnic
sites, boat ramps etc., could be paid for from new development fees
and from taxes on existing real estate, he suggested.
Several people from one organization or another then came forward
to volunteer their expertise and services. Some even offered small
cash contributions to particular efforts.
Mr. McLain then presented the commission members who were present
with a challenge to make all of these public efforts worthwhile by
agreeing to appoint an advisory group to assist the Commission in
the future with its comprehensive plan endeavors. A cloud of fore-
boding silence struck the room like that precipitated by the receding
tide of an impending tsunami. Finally Bevin Putnal stammered, in an
almost inaudible whisper, the notion that he agreed with much of
what had been said but that he still had many reservations about
several other points.
Mr. McLain then qualified his request by an attempt to pacify his
wording. He suggested maybe not calling this group An advisory com-
mittee but possibly something less imposing.
Commissioner Russell Croften then made the suggestion that the
world at large was, in effect, a grand committee-of, by, and from the
people. And that what better committee could possibly be designed
than this random democratic selection this wonderful and intelli-
gent group-who was present in this room this very evening; or one
similar to it. Was not this the best committee that could be proposed
in a truly democratic society? Why should we spoil this moment in an
attempt at specificity and personal prejudice. Why don't we just, more
or less, leave it up to the democratic process and the spirit of coop-
eration and the random and spontaneous participation of patriotic
and concerned citizens.
Now it was the crowd and not the commissioners who were left quit
and speechless. Finally an older gentleman stepped forward and sug-
gested that although we all respect and love democracy that even our
forefathers offered a system of representation not that anybody would
be excluded--but that all the divergent groups involved could have a
spokesman. He suggestion the theoretical notion that although two
heads may be better than one, possibly ten heads would be more
efficient than ten thousand.
Humm??? The Commissioners pondered openly. Then commissioner
Sanders seized the moment and saved the day. She said that it was
not legal for the Commission to vote on something not conducted at a
sanctioned County Commission meeting. She promised that she would
bring up the idea of an advisory committee at the February 1, regular
County Commission meeting. She also reminded the audience that if
it were not for the recent election and the new Commission members
this meeting would not even be taking place. This idea had been voted
down by the previous Commission,
Mr. McLain then praised the crowd and the Commission for their
positive spirit and cooperation, and called the meeting to a close.
Comprehensive Plan Update
An extended discussion concerning the latest revisions and rewrites
to the county's comprehensive plan occupied nearly two hours at the
tail end of Tuesday's meeting of the Board of County Commissioners,
centered largely on a lengthy document drafted by Administrative
Director Alan Pierce. The 17-page piece was entitled "8 Key Issues"
was basically divided into two parts. The first listed an analysis of the
so-called "8 key issues" with much new language incorporated into
the draft plan. The second portion of the draft plan contained a lengthy
discussion of affordable housing, adequate infrastructure, emergency
management, a delineation of the coastal high hazard area, provi-
sions to promote economic development, protection of natural re-
sources and preservation of cultural heritage.
A digest of the comp plan discussion and document will be featured
in the next Chronicle issue of February 18, 2005.
The Board of County Commissioners decided to hold a workshop
on the Pierce document on February 18th. That meeting will be
the first nightly meeting of the Franklin County Commission be-
ginning at 5 p.m. at the Courthouse, Annex, Apalachicola.
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3) Building Materials: Allow this incentive to be used more than one
time per parcel, but only after meeting a dollar threshold for the value
of any second and future improvements. Additionally, allow parcels
to be combined and allow for use of the incentive onh the combined
parcel even if the incentive was used previously on one of the indi-
vidual parcels. Further, allow the maximum refund to be a number
greater than $10,000, which will make the incentive more attractive
to a business or zone resident.
D. Various Enterprise Zone Criteria
1) Create flexibility in the statutory zone designation criteria to allow
rural communities to use countywide data for measuring pervasive
poverty, etc., when establishing an enterprise zone.
2) Allow any area with available infrastructure in a rural county to be
considered for enterprise zone designation.
3) Expand the criteria for appointment to, and specify the roles of the
EZDA board of commissioners. By allowing for greater community
involvement in the board, and by providing ways to bring about
long-term involvement of board members, a better framework or zone
success may be established.
4) Create a local administrative process for amending the boundary
of an enterprise zone, within its existing size limitations, followed by
OTTED review and approval based on statutory criteria. This process
would eliminate the necessity for legislative approval of boundary
5) Establish an annual forum for enterprise zone in coordinator train-
ing and review, of best practices under in the leadership of Enterprise
Florida, Inc. Many zone coordinators are in need of training, and are
also unaware of many of the marketing ideas that have been used in
E. Incentives and Grants
Support incentives and initiate new grants as follows:
1) Support infrastructure incentives to help communities establish
the necessary conditions for economic development.
2) Job training grants to help a community train zone residents in
the skills necessary to work in today's economy. A grant would not be
tied to a new business coming to a community requesting training for
3) Technical assistance grants to communities with limited funds,
possibly with a community match, to hire a full-time enterprise zone
coordinator who can focus on marketing the zone.
4) Business facade improvement grants to a zone business to up-
grade the physical appearance of the business.
Timothy Weeks from Page 3
It s oven more rhythm than reason, sheer wanderlust. A Chinese for-
tune-teller once told me that my heart was on my feet-and it's true.
I've clocked a lot of zip codes and I've enjoyed every one of them. The
world fascinates me.
TW: Here in Franklin County you have something special. Something
that's been pawned and hocked and in PC andDestin. Cherish it,
relish it. Preserve it. Don't prostitute this paradise.
And guess what, all you millionaires and oystermen? The fate of this
paradise is in both of your hands, so you better not only figure out a
way to coexist, but harmonize and support each other.
CH: Feels like a homecoming?
TW: After years wandering the world it's great to spend time here
again strolling past the shrimp boats, visiting the oyster houses and
soaking in that beautiful briny bay aroma. I'm not sure if it feels like
home yet, but it sure smells like it.
~~I R nYu d ttwd
Regional or National
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Regions: North, South, Central
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The FrankIV~W 4lin hoicl[at 850670-1687wiis.~r
Weasohadl ntina pacmet:ist w 1 q .:a-
The FWC conducted public hear-
ings to discuss moving the open-
ing of the Apalachicola Bay Oys-
ter season to September instead
of'October. This change would
make the oyster season the same
throughout the state and would
be an economic incentive to the
Franklin County oyster industry.
At both public hearings held there
was no objection to the rule
change. Hopefully the FWC will
move ahead with the changes. The
issue is scheduled for discussion
on February 3rd in Panama City
Beach at the Edgewater Hotel.
The Panhandle Players will hold
their annual Memtlrship meet-
ing, Monday, February 7 at 7 p.m.
at the Dixie Theatre in Apalach-
icola. At the meeting: Oflfici- s; and
Board Members-at-Large will be
elected; the production to be per-
formed May 6, 7, and 8 will be
discussed; other production dates
and activities planned by the
Board will also be discussed. Af-
ter the business portion of the
meeting a social hour with re-
freshments provided by the Piggly
Wiggly and Gulf State Community
Bank will take place.
subscibe o th
The Student Services/College
Reach-Out Program of Gulf Coast
Community College will present
a SAT workshop for high school
juniors and seniors on February
12 and February 19, 2005 from 9
a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Language &
Literature Sarzin Lecture Hall.
The workshop will feature tips on
test taking, reasoning and logic.,
Students will also be able to take
a complete practice SAT test.
The workshop is free and lunch
will be provided by GCCC. Seat-
ing is limited to 50 students.
Please call 769-1551, ext. 6070
or 6071, no later than 2/10, 2005
to reserve a seat.
Franklin County Public Library's
Librarv Assistant, Judi Rundel,
has been accepted into the "Li-
brarians Serving the Public" pro-
gram, a full tuition scholarship
awarded to 30 graduate level stu-
dents attending Florida State
University's College of Information
who agree to serve in the targeted
rural counties of Florida or at
least two years after graduation.
The College has partnered with
the Central Florida Library Coop-
erative, the Northeast Florida Li-
brary Information Network, and
the Panhandle Library Access
Network to provide a program
with special enhancements.
They include two new courses de-
signed specifically for the pro-
gram, a mentor, and a require-
ment that the 30 students in the
cohort attend a number of pro-
fessional meetings throughout the
course of the next two years.. Ms.
Rundel began her studies towards
an MS in Library and Information
Studies in the Fall of 2004 and
expects to graduate in the Spring
of 2007. The classes are offered
at the Tallahassee campus as well
rul Y1Y I-- -- ._,-V JL ---er--r. -4- I - LAL CY YLI"lllP
The Franklin Chronicle
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
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A, t'R I-
MR. HOT SAUCE
Red Pepper Run
Entry Form & Schedule
SEX: M F AGE: .- '- SHIRTSIZE: S M L XL
I hereby release the St. George Island Regional Charity Chill Cookoff & Auction, Inc. its organizers,
directors, and sponsors, or any other persons Involved from any and all damages or Injuries Incurred
or arising out of participation in the 2005 Red Pepper Run and further state that I have trained for and am
physically competent to run a SK (3.1 mile) race.
Signature of Entrant or Parent or Legal Guardian if Under 18 Years Old
Commercial & Residential
Olde Sout Morlgage
N 9Group, Inc.
CHILI HEAD SPONSOR FORM
$125 SPONSOR-Chill Head Jacket
$100 SPONSOR-Chili Head Vest
2 Styles to choose from (PLEASE CHOOSE ONE)
Jacket: Features include a
zip and snap storm flap,
slash pockets with protec-
tive flaps and zippered
closures and a locker loop
for convenience. Color:
$30 SPONSOR-CHILI HEAD CAP
1001c Cotton, stone cap, pigment dyed and garment
washed. Low profile, adjustable brass closure. Cool
Nylon and Fleece Vest:
Wind resistant and water
s repellent, front and back
vents with Velcro closures
allow air circulation. Inside
or out, this reversible vest
will keep you warm and
dry. The nylon side is
naturally durable and
double needle stitched to stay strong and has zippered
slash pockets. The 13-ounce fleece side is soft and has
an anti-pill finish. An elastic bottom, side seam pockets
and zip front keep both sides looking good. Unisex
sizes: XS-4XL. Color: Titanium/Black.
Order Form for St. George Island
Chili Head Sponsor Jacket, Vest or Cap
Jacket: Qty: Size:_ @125 Each: Total:_
Vest : Qty: Size: @$100 Each: Total:_
Cap : Qty: Size: @$ 30 Each: Total:____
Please Deliver or Mail to:
(Return form to: Jayne Bamburg, 432 W. Bayshore Dr., St. George Island, FL 32328)
PO RCf CLUB
SI. GEORGE ISLAND, FLORIDA
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 8:00 a.m.
Place: St. George Island, Fl. (start in front of Blue
Fee: $15.00 All entrants will receive a T-shirt.
Awards: Awards to 1st Place Male, 1st Place Female,
1st Male St. George Island Resident,
1st Female St. George Island Resident, and
1st three finishers in five year age groups.
Info: For information, call Nick or Barbara
Yonclas at (850) 670-1661 (days) or
(850) 927-2130 (evenings).
Payment: Register morning of the race or send
check with entry form. Checks payable to:
S.G.I regional Charity Chili Cookoff &
Mail to: S.G.I. Regional Charity Chili Cookoff &
Auction, Inc., P.O. Box 386, Eastpoint, FL
n',i n Florida Non Profit Corporation FL N 20424
First American (i .-r. A;itor ealtl '-a, g.. e t .o
Title Insurance l, ;-. ww.f or', ,
..c "ST Reso 0272322
GULF STATEro t
Community Saiinthe .vMkuaity tProperties
r -- Bn Tell fre 88 3-7 93-Z138 ofrs5. eorgteIlamd.Imnc.
8"0""'-4^-3 2 28 850/878-2000
>S THE ORMAN BM I
Adkins Mortgage al :
Apalachicola, FL 32 Aventue D, Apalachicolrn O3 -67, 2
84 W Bul.tldin Copoeraion Inc.
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4 Fbrarv205 -Pne
Page 10 4 February 2005
A LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER
The Franklin Chronicle
Annual Blue Crab Festival
-With crabs broiling, shrimp grill-
ing and music bopping. some
12,000 to 16,000 seafood-
consuming revelers bring their
appetites for food and fun to
Wooley Park. "For 30 years, neigh-
bors here in Panacea have worked
side-by-side to celebrate our sea-
food industry," said co-chair
Sherrie Posey Miller, The 31st
Annual Panacea Blue Crab Festi-
val-one of the largest on Florida's
Gulf Coast-is accepting applica-
tions from food and .arts and
crafts vendors, commercial enti-
ties, political candidates, and
not-for-profit organizations to
participate in the popular May 7th
Committee members in charge of
vendor and organization partici-
pation are: Clair and Lynn
Henderson, Food Vendors; Paige
Killeen and Jennifer Harrison,
Arts and Crafts Vendors; Patsy
Byrd, Not-for-Profit Organiza-
To register go to the Panacea Blue
Crab Festival web site,
download your application packet,
or call us at 850-984-CRAB (2722).
If you call, be sure to leave your
name, address, and the type of
product you are selling-a packet
will be sent to you. Please hurry
as space is limited.
Panacea is located just southwest
of Crawfordville in scenic Wakulla
County, about 45 minutes south
of downtown Tallahassee via state
Highway 319 to Coastal Highway
98. Additional information is avail-
able at www.bluecrab-festival.com or
call 850-984-CRAB (2722).
the Chronicle Bookshop
Mail Order Service *
P.O. Box 590
Eastpoint, FL 32328
Tyndall Presents $1 OK Check
To United Way
The 325th Fighter Wing will
present a check for more than
10,000 Jan. 31 to the United
Way of Northwest Florida to aid
victims of the devastating tsunami
that struck parts of Southeast
Col. Brian Dickerson, 325th
Fighter Wing vice commander, will
be presenting the check to repre-
sentatives of the United Way at 4
p.m. at the Wing Headquarters
"We have come together as an Air
Force family in offering assistance
to those who nave been affected
by this terrible disaster," said
Brig. Gen. Jack Egginton, 325th
Fighter Wing commander. "I am
proud of this great effort put forth
by Tyndall's service-members, ci-
vilians, retirees and their fami-
More than fifty volunteers from
Tyndall. stepped up to assist in the
collection of individual donations
that have been earmarked for use
in short-term aid efforts and the
long-term rebuilding of infra-
structure in those affected areas.
(307) The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Refer-
ence. Simon and Schuster, 2002, 949 pp. This work is a
comprehensive yet accessible compendium organized into
chapters that address broad themes such as "Antebel-
lum America," "Wartime Politics", "Armies," etc. with each
chapter including more specific topics. There are timelines
that chronicle major events, brief profiles of significant
players in the war and extensive bibliography. The work
examines the lives of the common soldiers, the role of
women in the conflict, medical treatment, home front
events, maps, excerpts from journals and letters. Other
chapter titles include "Battles and the Battlefield", Weap-
onry", "War on the Water" "Prisons and Prisoners of War",
"Reconstruction and the Aftermath of the War" and "The
Civil War in Literature and the Arts". A final chapter dis-
cusses places for further research, archives, important
published sources and national historic sites. This is one
indispensable one-volume reference on the Civil War,
originally sold for $45.00. The 949 pp work is available
in limited copies from the Chronicle bookshop for $35.00
THE FEVER MAN
A Biography of DC John Gorrie
(192) Vivian Sherlock's bi-
ography of John Gorrie,
The Fever Man, is available
once again after being
out-of-print for more than
a decade. This is the story
of John Gorrie, young phy-
sician who invented an "ice
machine" that many argue
was a forerunner to air con-
ditioning dozens of years
later. His cooling device was
developed to provide relief
to his suffering yellow fever
patients. A museum in
Apalachicola to this day
marks the work of John
Gorrie just across from his
last resting place in Gorrie
Square, down from Trinity
Church. This book tells
what is now known about
Dr. Gorrie, his work and his
ice machine. Paperback,
New, 151 pp. Bookshop
price = $10.00
(305) Hobo-ing America by
Richard Edward Noble, Pa-
perback. A humorous, light-
hearted, workingman's, true
life, travel adventure story.
Work your way around
America with Dick & Carol
... feel the pain and the joy
... shake the calloused
hands that make America
what it is. Bookshop price
Saint George Island & paachi cola.
from Early Explotatolon
to \\brk \\'ar IT
Now is the time to
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(309) Florida's Hurricane History. University of North
Carolina Press, 1998, 330 pp, Paperback. Chronicles
more than 100 hurricanes, from the great storms of the
colonial period to the devastating Andrew and Opal. Must
reading for residents, property owners, and visitors to
Florida, the nation's most hurricane-prone state. Explains
hurricane dynamics, forecasting and preparedness.
Bookshop price = $15.95.
Jirrt 3aptist C)jurd)
St. George Island
501 E. Bayshore Drive
R. Michael Whaley, Pastor
Join us as we praise and
worship the living Christ!
Sunday Bible Study 10:00 a.m.
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Please do not send cash. Thanks.
(21) Outposts on the Gulf by William Warren Rogers. Uni- I
versity of Florida Press, Hardcover, 297 pp. In this book,
Rogers traces and documents the economic, social and
political emergence of the Gulf coast port of Apalachicola
and the pristine barrier island, Saint George. From the
earliest times, both the island and Apalachicola have be-
come intertwined. The account of the machinations of con-
troversial developer William Lee Popham is the first phase
of area development, later leading to the controversial
struggles of the 1970s when environmentalists and sea-
food industries fought to determine the ecological and eco-
nomic fate of the Bay area. The Chronicle has obtained
a fresh supply of newly reprinted volumes at an at-
tractive price. Available elsewhere for $35.95 plus ship-
ping and handling. The Chronicle Bookshop price, is much
cheaper at $25.00 per volume.
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