7/27/21 @ 6:30 p.m. - At the Board of County Commissioners meeting held on Monday, July 26th, Emergency Management Director, Greg Foster, presented the 2021 Citizen's Disaster Guide. This document includes information on various hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, shelter locations, tips on preparing an emergency supply kit, and what to expect if a widespread evacuation order is given.
The presentation also included information about the new Evacuation Zones that were established following a study conducted by Emergency Management, along with the Northeast Florida Regional Council and Florida Department of Emergency Management. The old map had all of Amelia Island and most of the Yulee area under Zone A. As a result, many people off the island who were in Zone A were electing to not evacuate because they felt like their threat wasn't as great as others in that Zone residing along the intercoastal and on Amelia Island. Emergency Management indicated that they’ve also seen a decline in residents on Amelia Island who are willing to evacuate.
The new map now has 3 evacuation zones on Amelia Island which identify areas most likely to be affected by a coastal storm, as well as additional zones throughout the rest of the County clearly outlining where that area falls on the Zone Map. It's important to note that anyone previously shown in a surge zone will still be in a surge zone. Only the letters of the evacuation zone have changed.
Please click here to watch Director Foster's presentation. The discussion of the 2021 Citizens Disaster Guide and new Evacuation Zone Map begins at approximately 48:45.
If you have any questions about the new Evacuation Zones, please contact Emergency Management at (904) 548-0900.
Public Information Officer
Consumers can purchase qualifying back-to-school supplies exempt from tax during the 2021 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. Passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, the sales tax holiday begins Saturday, July 31 and extends through Monday, August 9.
During the 2021 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, the following qualifying back-to-school items are exempt from sales tax.
The sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items. Additionally, the sales tax holiday does not apply to sales in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport.
For more information on implementing the sales tax holiday, please see the Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Information Publication on the 2021 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday or the 2021 Florida Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday FAQs for Businesses.
Nassau County has seen a significant increase in new CoViD-19 cases since mid-June. The Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) weekly report shows that 445 Nassau residents were newly diagnosed with CoViD-19 between July 9 and July 16. Case numbers are fast approaching the highest numbers seen since before vaccine became widely available in Florida.
CoViD-19 Vaccine is available to all residents over the age of 12 years at no cost through local pharmacies, medical providers, and FDOH-Nassau Clinics. Appointments can be made at pharmacies and physicians’ offices, or residents can walk in at the FDOH Clinics without an appointment on the following schedule:
Residents with questions about any vaccine or their medical care should consult with their personal healthcare providers.
If you have any questions, please contact Nassau County Emergency Management at 904-548-0900.
Barnabas Center Nassau
Date: May 27, 2021
Christie Patterson has lived in Nassau County for 11 years. Her husband is disabled. She is unemployed because she must stay at home to care for him. They do not have health insurance. Christie found out she had diabetes in 2013. That is when she contacted Barnabas for help.
Thanks to ongoing participation in Barnabas’ Rx for Healthy Living Program, Christie’s diabetes has improved, and she is benefiting even more from a new Barnabas partnership with Amelia Fresh, a local food hub.
Amelia Fresh is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping local farmers and producers, as well as addressing food waste and food insecurity in Nassau County. Their mission is to provide convenient, economical and environmentally friendly access to healthy and fresh local goods.
Access to nutritious foods is a challenge for many Nassau County residents like Christie. But Barnabas’ Rx for Healthy Living Program encourages patients like her to take charge of their health and future by eating healthy foods. The patients who are enrolled in this program have one or more chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease or other chronic illnesses.
Relatedly, more than 13 percent of our Nassau County neighbors don’t know from where or when they will get their next meal. That’s called food insecurity. And, that’s equal to 1 of 6 adults and 1 of 4 children in our community who are hungry. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of access, at times, to enough food, including limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.
A few of the most significant factors that influence food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious foods include poverty, unemployment and spending trade-offs such as paying housing or medical bills versus not purchasing healthy foods.
Without warning, the need for food nearly tripled as the pandemic caused a significant increase in unemployment. The past year, Barnabas’ food programs provided 207,815 meals of healthy food to 3,939 food insecure households with 20,882 family members. Barnabas is thankful for the outpouring of support from the community, food partners and volunteers who donated produce, food and time to help distribute thousands of pounds of food to Nassau County neighbors in need.
In addition, several years ago Barnabas developed the Rx for Healthy Living Program to support those patients who have limited access to nutritious foods. The new partnership with Amelia Fresh serves to not only provide access, but to also educate patients about produce and ways to prepare it at home.
Every other week, Barnabas’ twenty-five RX for Healthy Living participants receive one no-cost fresh produce box from Amelia Fresh. Barnabas adds to each box a variety of no- or low-sugar and low-sodium items, based on the patients’ needs. If a patient has mobility or transportation barriers, several members of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise generously volunteer their time to deliver those much-needed 50 boxes each month.
“I love the Rx for Healthy Living program because it helps me resist eating sweets,” Christie said. “Receiving fruit in my produce box is great. I’ve lost some weight and have learned what kinds of produce is best for me to eat. I am so happy my diabetes is under control.”
The RX for Healthy Living Program has proven to be successful with 58% of patients with high blood pressure having achieved improved readings and meeting their target goals, and 35% of patients accomplishing weight loss of 4 to 40 pounds.
For Amelia Fresh’s regular customers who are placing orders on ameliafresh.com, the food hub offers two options to donate to Barnabas’ RX for Healthy Living Program: a monthly $5 and a one-time $20 donation, which go directly toward purchasing a box of produce for Barnabas’ patients.
Amelia Fresh Local Food Hub is located in Fernandina Beach where you’ll find locally grown seasonal produce, meats, dairy, locally roasted coffee, tea, fresh baked breads, grains, honey, soaps and other artisan goods. You can order online at AmeliaFresh.com. Orders can be picked up or delivered to your home.
Barnabas is deeply grateful to Amelia Fresh, the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise and the many donors who support this beneficial program. For information about Barnabas’ health services and qualifications, call (904) 261-7000.
After months of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the return of Leadership Nassau, a premier Leadership Development program.
Leadership Nassau provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the various socio-economic aspects that directly affect our region. During the 10-month program, students engage in activities that connect them with local leaders, while simultaneously helping them form a life-long bond with fellow classmates.
More than 325 members of the Nassau County community have participated in Leadership Nassau, with graduates ranging from Circuit Judges to small business owners and everything in between. The program is open to any resident of Nassau County, but recruitment targets individuals with diverse backgrounds and seeks a racial, gender, and age mix that is reflective of the local population.
For more information and to receive a Class 21 application, contact Leadership Nassau Coordinator Alex Wilmer at Alex@NassauCountyFLChamber.com. Interested parties may also click below to download a copy of the application. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 18, 2021 by 5:00 P.M.
From the County Insider
Office of the Nassau County Manager
March 25, 2021
3/22/21 @ 8:10 p.m. – In early March, two public outreach sessions were held regarding the conceptual plan for the Westside Regional Park. The first was a virtual meeting held on Monday, March 1st. The presentation used for the virtual meeting was also used for the in-person meeting held on Thursday, March 4th.
Approximately 30 people were in attendance at the in-person meeting and several expressed their thoughts on amenities they would like to see included in the park. The County’s consultant, Prosser, Inc., also provided the results of a recent survey in which citizens were given an opportunity to share their opinions about the possible amenities and the overall appearance of the park. The results of the survey were shared county-wide and then broken down further by zip codes and age groups.
Top priorities identified included:
To view the presentation, please see the You Tube video link.
Public Information Officer
The County is currently seeking citizen input related to the conceptual plan of the Westside Regional Park. This park will be located off of US 1, between Hilliard and Callahan. Citizen feedback will be used to establish the Goals, Objectives, and Statement of Intent and will guide the design solution created for the park.
Take this opportunity to tell the County what amenities and features you would like to see included in this park. Click below for a link to the survey, which will close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23rd.
Below is an important update from Nassau County Emergency Management related to the State’s new COVID-19 Vaccination system:
Our team is aware of, and continuously monitoring, the State of Florida's new ShareCare COVID Vaccine Registration and Scheduling system that was announced late 01/29/21.
Although we are looking forward to the state system being a success, there are indications that it continues to have difficulties that might cause delays and scheduling problems for residents.
Nassau residents in the groups currently targeted for vaccination in the Governor's Executive Order #20-315, should register for the OneNassau Vaccine Waitlist through www.OneNassau.com, even if they decide to register in the statewide system. The systems do not communicate with each other.
Residents who have already registered for the OneNassau Vaccine Waitlist do not need to register again - multiple/duplicate entries are deleted.
Until we are positive that there will be no issues with the new ShareCare system, scheduling for local first doses of CoViD-19 vaccine will continue to be completed through our OneNassau system.
Barnabas Center offers dental services in Hilliard to help adults in need in west Nassau County. The office is located at the Florida Department of Health (37203 Pecan Street, Hilliard FL 32046). Dental services are offered every Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
To be eligible for Barnabas’ dental services, adults age 18 and older must meet income guidelines, have no dental insurance, and provide proof of Nassau County residency.
Nassau County residents may apply for assistance by appointment only. To determine eligibility and schedule an appointment, call (904) 261-7000 for any of the following assistance:
For more information about Barnabas’ programs, please visit www.BarnabasNassau.org.
The nominations are officially in! The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards process is an opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Nassau County. Winners will be announced and contacted during the week of February 8th.
For questions or more information, please email info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com or call (904) 261-3248.
And the nominees are...
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine
Baptist Medical Center Nassau
First Port City Bank
Hot Paws Pet Grooming, Hotel & Spa
Liberty Landscape Supply
Millennium Physician Group
Orange Park Mall
Summer House Realty
MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Express Care
Joe's 2nd Street Bistro
Palm III Realty
The Hurst Company, CPAs, P.A.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Amelia Island Adventures
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
FASTSIGNS of Fernandina Beach
Paisley Grace Makery
SJ Brewing Company
Surcheros Fresh Grill
Villa Villekulla Toy Store
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Randy Bowman | Orange Park Mall
Michael Brooks | First Port City Bank
Mark Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Durand Childers | First Port City Bank
Neal & Marty Cochrane | Cochrane's Collision Center
Kerri Foster | Amelia Island Adventures
Jodi Henson | Small Business Development Center at UNF
Gil Langley | Amelia Island TDC and CVB
Octavio Martinez | Hot Paws Pet Grooming, Hotel & Spa
Kelley McCarter | Keep Nassau Beautiful
Tracy Nazzaro | Traders Hill Farm
Tim Poynter | Café Karibo
Jaret P. Rice | The Hurst Company, CPAs
James Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Jenny Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Don Shaw | Cambridge South
JoAnn Stewart | SJ Brewing Company
YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Dr. James Antun | 8 Flags Chiropractic
Bradley Bean | Rayonier Advanced Materials
Heather Bennett | Paisley Grace Makery
Aaron Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Theresa Duncan | Villa Villekulla Toy Store
Darrin Eakins | Nassau Pride
Greg Franklin | Franklin Equipment Sales
Martinique Lemke | Redbones Dog Bakery & Boutique
Jacob Logsdon | Amelia Express Care
Antoinette Richter | First Port City Bank
Ricky Rochester | Meridian Waste
CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Andrea Aroyo | Amelia Express Care
Pam Austin | First Federal Bank
Kathryn Bell | Millennium Physician Group
Kellie Boston | Boston Photography
Nik Bremer | Amelia Island Bait & Tackle
Aaron Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Amber Bullington | Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Rachel Clark | Traders Hill Farm
Linda Crow | Crow Jewelers
Kim Ferman and Kelly Redlinski | Advanced Muscle Therapy
Dearsha Johnson | Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
Michelle Myers | Mint Magazine
Noelle Najimy | Hartke & Najimy Accounting Services
Olivia Harris | Whataburger
Amy Petroy | The Patio Place
Ricky Robbins | Amelia Island Coffee
Emiko Rocha | First Federal Bank
Jenny Schaffer | Summer House Realty
Tambre Webb | FASTSIGNS of Fernandina Beach
Nathalie Wu | Wicked BAO
NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR
Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County
Fernandina Beach Main Street
Fernandina Beach Pride
Keep Nassau Beautiful
Nassau County School System
Nassau Humane Society
Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare
Take Stock in Children of Nassau County
Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News