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SR 53 North to be renamed Joe C. Peavy Hwy

In honor of Joe Peavy, who served as sheriff of Madison County for 28 years, the county is taking steps to change State Road 53 North from U.S. 90 to the Georgia state line to Joe C. Peavy Hwy.

The subject first came up at the Jan. 27 county commission meeting when a citizen came forward asking the commissioners to consider changing SR 53 North to Joe C. Peavy Hwy. This request was approved 4-0. Town Attorney Tom Reeves informed the commissioners that the Clerk of Court needed to write a letter about the highway name change to the Legislature in order to get this request approved.

The bill containing the request to change the highway's name, SB 114, was introduced to the Senate on August 11, 2015 by Senator Montford. It was referred to two subcommittees: Transportation and Fiscal Policy. It passed in Transportation on Feb. 4 with a vote of 7-0. It passed in Fiscal Policy on Feb. 10 with a vote of 11-0.

During the Feb. 10 county commission meeting, Clerk of Court Tim Sanders read off the resolution to rename SR 53 North. The resolution was adopted and the commissioners unanimously voted to recognize, appreciate and honor Peavy.

The bill will still have to go through a vote by the entire Senate. Should it pass the Senate, it will go on to the House. Should it pass in the House, it will need to be signed off by the Governor before being enacted.

SB 114 was placed on third reading on Feb. 18 but has not been voted on as of now.

Peavy served the citizens of Madison County as sheriff from 1973 until his retirement in 2000. He has been recognized for “his excellence in his career in law enforcement during his tenure as Sheriff of Madison County by being elected and serving as director, secretary, treasurer and sargent-at-arms of the Florida Sheriff's Association and rising to 'Dean of Sheriffs' for the State of Florida in the year of 1999,” according to the resolution requesting the renaming of the highway. He also served in the Army and was the former president the Florida Cattlemen's Association, member of the Lions Club for over 50 years and was on the board of county commissioners. He serves as the Deacon of First Baptist Church of Madison and serves on the Third Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission of the Florida Bar. He is also a member of the Florida Farm Bureau, the Masons, the Shriners and the American Legion.

Peavy recalls that he was shocked when he received the news of the renaming of SR 53 North. “I knew about it, but I didn't know it was going to come to the county commissioners,” said Peavy. “It was a total surprise.” Peavy mentioned that Sanders presented the resolution to him.

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