County Commission presented dividend check

There was much to be discussed during the Madison County Commission meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. The agenda was adopted after roll call, and the public hearings for special exception application by Tri-County Electric Co-Op and C4 Towers, LLC were both postponed for the next meeting. Public input opened up, and a representative from the American Heart Association took to the podium to inform the board of a new program called Healthy Food Financing, which is a campaign to provide additional access to healthy foods in small communities such as Madison County. The board requested follow-up information as the project goes on. Next, the board held a public hearing for the TEFRA Bond Hearing for Springhill Apartments, LLC. Randy Wilkerson, representative of housing for Escambia County, announced that the proceeds of the bond would be given to finance Springhill Apartments, or Madison Heights, for upgrading and beautifying of the 76 units of Springhill Apartments. The maximum amount loaned will not exceed 4.5 million, and the county is not responsible to pay the bonds. The board approved this unanimously. Frank Darabi and John McHugh presented a dividend check of $5,700 on behalf of the Aucilla Landfill for all of the investments the county has put within the landfill. Public works presented several updates to their current projects and informed the board that four contractors submitted bids for the Celosia Drive sinkhole improvement; it was recommended to select contracting company Pioneer Excavating and Tractor Service, Inc. for Phase I of the project. The board took up that suggestion and voted for Pioneer to complete Phase I. Many of the paving projects underway are also coming along smoothly, with lime rock already put it on Marsteen Road and all the cables/lines replaced on Wonderwood. Jamie Willoughby of Ayla's Acres was approved by the board to expand the animal sanctuary, and Steve Carpenter of Florida Forest Service appointed Chairman Rick Davis as member of the management Plan Advisory Group for the Florida Forest Service. Davis will have to attend one meeting in the Live Oak library on Jan. 19. After the pyramid bakery option was approved, Jerome Wyche and three Kiwanis Club members presented the resolution for Christmas in July on behalf of the Kiwanis Club. For next year's event, Wyche announced that the main focus is to help all of the homeless students in Madison County, as there are approximately 500 plus homeless students within the county. Their main objective is to help these students meet basic needs. Wyche informed the board that a $500 grant has been received for this cause. “Our goal is to serve 20 to 25 students,” said Wyche. “With enough funding, we believe this is possible.” To conclude the meeting, the board approved the hiring of both a temporary building official and a permanent building official when the current one retires. The next meeting held on Dec. 23 has been cancelled, but there will be a special meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 9 a.m.

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