Light-up McIntosh December 15
Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.
06.14.07 -- BRIEFS: Council switches back to old Historic Ordinance, rescinds new water fee
Friday, June 15, 2007
By CHER PHILLIPS
- The McIntosh Town Council decided last night to rescind an $8 a month water fee they started to establish last month in order to pay for repairs to the water system. McIntosh's water system has been running at a $20,000 deficit for some years now. Efforts to raise the water rates, the lowest in the county and most likely the state, have failed. The council will be looking at alternative plans in the next month to find a way for the town's water operations to break even.
- The council voted to switch historic ordinances last night in a public hearing before the meeting. Historic ordinance 2006-151, which passed in June of last year, was repealed in exchange for Historic ordinance 2007-161. Ordinance 161 had the same wording as the 1980 's historic ordinance which originally created the historic district. Earlier this year, the council voted to repeal 151, but they also asked the Land Planning Agency to correct what the community did not like about the ordinance. Instead, the committee suggested removing the ordinance altogether. The switch-out vote will have to pass another public hearing before the town's first ordinance will be back in place.
- Council Vice President Howard Walkup would like to build a town hall on the land the town owns where McIntosh Area Charter School is current renting land. Walkup suggested last night that he contact the University of Florida and seek the assistance of student architects and engineers. Other council members wanted to hash out other options and decided that the council will hold a workshop in the next week or two to discuss options.
- Councilman Lee Deaderick brought a list of six possible options for building a permanent school building. He said he would make a copy of them available to the Mirror.
- Deaderick pushed Town Attorney Scott Walker toward a resolution in the case between the town and Brent Leytem. Leytem had a series of codes violations filed against him years ago and the legal case has been drawn out over years frustrated residents living on the west side of town. Leytem made changes to his property that other residents and the town suggest may have changed the way water drains into the creek bed on the west side.
- The council also decided it would ask its regional planner, Bruce Day, to consider rewriting the bulk of the McIntosh Development Code. Deaderick was concerned that the code is confusing, incomplete and faulty. He noted that the code references a public works handbook that no one in town can locate. Council President Frank Ciotti said he had some concerns about rewriting the codes because code changes have been met with resistance from the town's residents. Ciotti cited the example of the switched out historic ordinance.
- The council passed an ordinance for the first time that would give the council the authority to remove citizen board members with a 4/5's majority vote. The ordinance will have to pass twice before it becomes law.
- The Tree Ordinance was tabled, again, to give council members a chance to read updates. Deaderick, the proposed law's greatest critic, said he was very close to voting for it.
- Judy Greenberg asked the council to help the McIntosh Garden Club complete the installation of a Blue Star Marker on the median in highway 441 on the south end of McIntosh. When the Garden Club originally planned the install the marker, a veteran memorial, the Florida Department of Transportation said it would cost $300 to install the marker. But later, the group was told it would cost $1,300.
- The town will buy ice cream for the July 4 celebration around Van Ness park. Ciotti and Mayor Marsha Strange hope to hand out ice cream bars or pop sickles around lunchtime, as long as their supplies last. McIntosh has a July 4 celebration every year that begins at 10 a.m. with a bike parade, Ciotti said. He said children decorate their bikes and then the local Lion's Club sells hamburgers at lunch time. Strange said they have potato sack races, as well.
- The town is still under a precautionary boil water notice that they hope will be lifted by Friday, June 15. One in eight test came back unsatisfactory. To lift the notice, the town needs to have two consecutive days of clear tests. Town Clerk Debbie Miller said she did not know why that test failed. Deaderick said that he thought it was probably a lab issue since the first four tests on the water in McIntosh after the service interruptions came back clean. The council was positive about how the town handled the water failure, including complying with the precautionary boil water notice. Several residents present at the meeting noted that they were not clearly notified about the notice. One resident said the message on her machine was unclear, so she drank the water after a day. Another resident said they found the note on their door three days after the notice had been in effect. The town is planning to purchase an automatic phone notification system.
Editor's note: Linda McCollum called me this morning to ask for help posting a comment about the ongoing discussion on the McIntosh school. She sent me the following letter to post, as is. She and I decided it might be better placed as a "letter to the editor" in a posting of its own since her wishes were for many in the community to read it.
The Mirror always encourages and welcomes letters and posts from the community.
McCollum is an employee of McIntosh Area Charter School and a long-time McIntosh resident. Her grandchildren go to the school, and her family has served on the school's board.
I work at the school. So, yes, I have a vested interest in the school. The reason I started working at the school is I raised my children in this community without the benefit of a community school. My grandchildren are now growing up here.
A community school is important because each child is known for who they are. The teachers and staff have a closer connection to each child's family.
A small community school fosters community spirit, pride and involvement. I challenge anyone who is either against the building of a school or who doesn't care one way or the other to volunteer at the school. We have all these young individuals who will be part of the future right here, eager to learn, to be respected for their individual strengths and weaknesses, who will always hold McIntosh in their hearts because they were part of McIntosh during these early formative years.
For those with concerns that the school is not financially sound, our books are a matter of public record. We have saved a considerable amount in a reserve account and it is now earning interest. When I started working at the school we couldn't afford any benefits. We now offer health care and 401K benefits to our full time staff. We added a part time PE teacher last year who will be full time this coming year. We did not receive capital improvement money until the 2006-07 year, so all lease payments for our buildings came from FTE funds.
In August we will open our doors for our 5th year. Our fifth grade class will be our first graduating class from McIntosh Area School. They have thrived and done well. We are proud of them.
The Town Council of McIntosh has supported the school by allowing us to occupy the office space and the land for the modular buildings for $10 a year. We could not have come this far without their support. Now we are ready for the next step. We want our students to have a permanent school building in which to attend classes. A new building would provide safe shelter for our students and promote community pride as well as enhance the value of our property. Young families will be encouraged to buy here when homes come on the market because they will have a small, community school for their children.
I urge all of the citizens of McIntosh to join the efforts of those who see the value of a community school. Talk to your neighbors about it. Call or write your council members and mayor letting them know how you feel. In early July we hope to have several meetings in neighborhood homes to dispense vital information regarding the financial obligations involved and how those obligations might impact the citizens of McIntosh. I believe we must all be well informed in order to make the right decision for our town.
Thanks for your time.
Linda Gail McCollum
06.14.07 -- AUDIO: June Town Council Meeting
Thursday, June 14, 2007
|McIntosh Town Council Meeting June 14, 2007|
|Public hearing Citizen board||03.20|
|Repeal of historic ordinance||06.20|
|Council President speaks against repeal||20.36|
|Deaderick tabled Tree Ordinance||28.59|
|Matt Mathews county teen drug awareness program||35.24|
|Judy Greenberg presents blue marker in median proposal||40.29|
|Preliminary budget for next year||53.34|
|Water, boil water notice update||1.11.08|
|Message from Mayor||1.16.45|
|Update on Leytem code enforcement issues||1.17.21|
|Land Development code changes||1.54.29|
|Future Town Office Plan||2.04.57|
|Water enterprise account||2.16.57|
|Ciotti -- Ice Cream for July 4||2.42.15|
|Deaderick - Trash pickup complaints||2.47.22|
Listen to the June 14, 2007 Town Council workshop:
(Internet Explorer users may need to click the start arrow twice)
06.12.07 -- AGENDA: Council to meet Thursday night
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Town Council Meeting
June 14, 2007
Immediately Following Public Hearing at 7:00 pm
Anyone wishing to place a subject on the agenda may do so up to 72 hours before the meeting by notifying the Town Office.
I) Call to Order, Lord’s Prayer, and Pledge to the American Flag
II) Roll Call
III) Consent Agenda:
All matters listed within the Consent Agenda have been distributed to each member of the McIntosh Town Council for reading and study, are considered to be routine, and will be enacted by one motion of the Council with no separate discussion. If separate discussion is desired, that item may be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the Regular Agenda by request. Please call 591-1047 for questions on Consent Agenda items prior to the Council meeting.
A) Minutes of the Town Council Public Hearing of May 10, 2007 and Town Council Meeting of May 10, 2007
B) Financial Report for May 2007
C) Historic Preservation Committee Minutes – June 6, 2007
A) Matt Matthews of CCASA regarding Substance Abuse grant renewal approval
B) Judy Greenberg, Garden Club - Blue Star Memorial Marker
V) Citizen Board Committee Updates:
VI) Message from the Clerk:
A) 2007-2008 Preliminary Budget Overview
B) Intuit – Monthly fee ($25/month) for off-site backup
C) Mosquito Spraying
D) Installation of water tower telephone dialer
VII) Message from the Mayor:
VIII) Message from the Attorney:
A) Leytem Code Enforcement Violation Issue Status
IX) Old Business:
A) Land Development Code change issues
1) 50’ Traffic Triangle
2) 200’ Wetlands setback
3) Increase zoning amendment fees to cover actual land planning fee cost
B) Future Town Office Plan
C) Water Enterprise Account
D) Traffic Speed Control Measures
X) New Business:
A) Roberts Rules
B) City Manager
XI) Message from the Council:
XII) Citizen’s Comments:
***Notice to Board Meeting Attendees: As a courtesy to others, please ensure pager and cell phones are turned off during meeting***
Welcome to the Town of McIntosh Town Council meeting. All persons wishing to address the Town Council will be asked to limit their comments to the specific subject being addressed. However, in order to foster mutual respect between the Town Council and the public, it is requested that comments are directed at specific issues rather than personal comments directed toward Board members or staff.
Please note that if a person desires to appeal any decision made to any matter considered at the above meeting, that person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceeding be made, which record includes the testimony and evidence which the appeal is to be based.
06.08.07 -- REPORT: McIntosh under water boil notice -- UPDATED
Friday, June 08, 2007
McIntosh is under a precautionary water boil notice until further notice.
In a phone interview on Friday evening Council Vice President Howard Walkup said town maintenance employee Paul Kelly told him the pressure gauge malfunctioned.
Walkup said the pressure gauge operates like a thermostat telling the pump when to shut on and off.
Friday evening, Mayor Marsha Strange said the water went out early Friday morning.
"They got it fixed fairly quickly," Councilman Lee Deaderick said.
Deaderick said he was pleased that the town was giving residents proper notice.
Walkup confirmed that they got the pump working, and someone will come out and fix it on Monday morning.
In the past during water failures, Kelly and other town employees stayed with the pump overnight watching. Walkup thought that they didn't think that would be necessary this time around.
Since March, the town has replaced some parts of the water system and is planning to build a fund to replace an aging pump. Walkup said the pressure gauge was not one of the parts that previously failed.
Water boil notices were circulated around McIntosh, posted on resident's doors.
The notice says that the town advises boiling water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and washing dishes.
The notice cautions resident to boil water prior to use -- with a rolling boil of one minute. Another option is disinfecting water by adding 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of plain unscented bleach per gallon of water and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes. If the water is still cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat procedure.
Deaderick said the town had connected the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Town officials said they did not know, as yet, how long the boil water notice will last. But it will last until they get results of the bacterial tests back to ensure the water supply is safe, which possibly could be next week.
Notices said the updates would be posted on the community bulletin board.
05.31.07 -- Poll: Building a new McIntosh School
Friday, June 01, 2007
Check out the following story about building a new McIntosh Area School. Then, check in with what option you are leaning toward.
Poll closed. Thanks to everyone for participating.
Give the school the land: 8 votes, 16 percent
Help them build a school: 25 votes, 52 percent
Do nothing, keeping leasing land: 15 votes, 31 percent
I have a better idea: 0 votes, no one...
If you'd still like to voice your opinion, the comment section is still open
Have a better idea or more to say? Leave a comment in the forum.
(Poll began with 10,186.)
Editor and Publisher:
I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile
About This Blog
The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.