As 2020 dawns, many great things are happening in our city. New wayfinding signage downtown points our residents and visitors to the stores and shops that profit from their business and keep our downtown thriving. Events like the History Happens Here tours and speaker panels at the Courthouse have re-energized our appreciation of the historic district and recognized the people whose hard work and vision in the 1970s preserved our architectural legacy. A new book Saving Fernandina, telling the full story of our 70s efforts to revitalize downtown, is now in local bookstores. And the Historic Preservation Tour and Awards reinforced and demonstrated that preservation and economic vitality are solid partners.
What’s coming in 2020?
We’re assessing current lighting fixtures and sidewalks downtown to create a replacement plan for both safety and consistency, including funding source, by the end of the 2nd quarter.
Working with expert arborists we’ll examine the condition of our all-important trees and the shade they provide downtown. We’ll create a plan for replacement where necessary, along with funding sources.
We’ll replace landscaping in permanent beds in the 2nd quarter.
The new wayfinding, with standardized directional and parking signs, will be completed by end of 2nd quarter, depending on funding.
All of these things happen in great measure because of the Fernandina Beach Main Street program – one of 1600 organizations across the nation that are part of the National Trust – along with the support of the city and partners including the History Museum, the Restoration Foundation, the Historic Fernandina Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, Amelia Island Tourist Development Council and the dozens of volunteers who help us deliver on the Main Street promise: Nationally recognized. Locally powered.
Ricky Robbins, President and local business person
Terri Tennille, Vice President and local business person
Jose Miranda, Secretary, Restoration Foundation, and local architect
Dawn Tiura, Treasurer and local business person
Sal Cumella, City of Fernandina Beach Preservation Planner
Gil Langley, Convention Visitors’ Bureau
Lindy Kavanaugh, local business person
Buddy Jacobs, local Preservation Award winner and attorney
Bobby Ferreira, past president and local business person
Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has adopted by resolution the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Vision Book. The adoption of the Vision Book is the culmination of a community-driven process to proactively plan for the future of western Nassau County, including all of the County west of I-95.
In response to a Fall 2017 Urban Land Institute report on the impacts of growth on Western Nassau, the Nassau County Planning and Zoning Board (PZB) formed a subcommittee, the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee (WNHPC). Five PZB members who live in Western Nassau served on the WNHPC. The committee was charged with discussing the future of Western Nassau, and to work with the Planning and Economic Opportunity Department to determine how they can best assist in planning efforts. The Committee’s logo “Our Heritage, Our Future” echoes the historic Hilliard Poultry Association signage as a nod to the County’s past.
During the process, Nassau County Department of Planning and Economic Opportunity (PEO) facilitated an extensive public outreach campaign to gather input from residents, property and business owners, and state and local agencies to craft their vision for the future. On March 26, 2019, after a full year of community engagement, the WNHPC adopted the following mission statement: The Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee exists because there is a genuine desire on the part of our citizenry to ensure what our name implies–Preservation! We enjoy a rich heritage in Western Nassau County. Through purposeful community engagement, we are driven to gain perspective and insight for inevitable growth. The underlying impetus of our goal is to maintain a high quality of life, preserve rural character, and ensure fiscally sustainable and appropriately controlled development.
The Committee and PEO staff then translated community input into the Vision Book’s goals, objectives, and strategies to be implemented over the planning horizon through 2045. Objectives and strategies relate to community goals including history, natural resources, health, quality of life, recreation, jobs and education, and public spaces and infrastructure. Community partners and other related planning efforts such as Vision 2032 and the County Comprehensive Plan are also included in the Vision Book.
The Vision Book was approved by the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee on October 22, 2019. The full County Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval to the BOCC in November 2019. Last month, the County PEO staff received the Outstanding Public Participation award from the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association for efforts related to the Western Nassau Vision Book. The WNHPC and County staff extend many thanks to the numerous citizens who took time to attend meetings and events, or stop to talk to staff during community events. The Vision Book is truly a citizen-led plan and would not have been possible without their time and interest.
More information on the work of the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee and the Vision Book can be found at: www.nassaucountyfl.com/westernnassau.
The Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Department is charged with leading long-range and current planning for the community, with a focus on technical planning, implementation and management of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan, development and site plan review, and assistance to citizens, the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and other staff, advisory boards, government agencies, and the private sector regarding growth and development in Nassau County. For more information on our Plan, Code, or current initiatives, visit www.nassaucountyfl.com/planning, call (904) 530-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help students discover their job skills.
Join with other local businesses for a one day event,
Friday – February 21, 2020 at FSCJ - Bean Center – Nassau Room; 76346 William Burgess Blvd, Yulee, FL to showcase the abilities of individuals with disabilities.
Participants will rotate through your workstation, competing with others to complete your job task. Celebrity judges and special guests will cheer on participants and give out awards.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
Each company will have a station with a job task that a potential employee will complete. Students (14-21 years old) will practice & then compete.
BENEFITS & RECOGNITION
WHAT TO BRING
Set Up: 8:30am
Student Practice: 9:30-11am
Competition: 11:30am – 1:30 pm
Awards – 1:30 pm-2:00pm
Janet Cunningham 904-225-9355 or 904-610-6204
Registration Deadline: January 31st, 2020
Have you ever wondered how people get elected to local office or how to volunteer to help with a political campaign? Perhaps you’re considering running for office yourself but don’t know where to start. The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce announces a new program, “Candidate Boot Camp” which will provide training for those interested in seeking elected offices.
"Candidate Boot Camp" consists of three separate morning sessions, all covering different but important topics; The first session is scheduled for Saturday, January 25, 2020 and will address running for office, how to engage with the media throughout a campaign and working with political parties. Former candidates, elected officials and campaign managers will be on hand to share experiences and insight. John Delaney, former Mayor of Jacksonville and now working with the Fiorentino Group, will be the special guest speaker.
The second session is scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 2020 and will examine the rules and regulations of campaigning. The Nassau County Supervisor of Elections office will be on hand to go through the process of filing and reporting.
The third and final session is scheduled for Saturday, February 8, 2020 and will explore creating a campaign, research, strategy design, fundraising and how to use digital and media outlets.
Each session will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101-G, Fernandina Beach, Florida. Registration is now open and the deadline to register is January 16, 2020. The cost is $25.00 per person, whether you attend one or all three sessions. The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan organization with a mission to promote and maintain a healthy business environment and quality of life for Nassau County.
Community Hospice and Palliative Care is hosting a Pet Loss Workshop on Wednesday, December 11th from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Nassau County Council on Aging, located at 1901 Island Walk Way, Fernandina Beach, FL.
Losing a pet can be as difficult as losing a family member. Making the loss more difficult is people may not understand this grief and are often times not as sympathetic toward the pet's companion.
This workshop will provide information about grief related to pet loss, offer ideas about what helps with the grief and an opportunity to meet others with similar experiences.
To register, visit petlossworkshop.eventbrite.com or call (904) 407-6464.
Presenter: Jim Monahan, M.Ed.
Jim has over 25 years of experience working with grief and loss. He has a number of grief related publications and has lectured in China, Portugal, Australia and Barbados about bereavement and related topics. Most important, Jim is a pet lover.
Planting Nassau’s Future is a Keep Nassau Beautiful program to beautify spaces in Nassau County. It’s first project is Adopt-A-Tree. To donate, www.keepnassaubeautiful.org/donate/.
Over a five-month period beginning December 2019 and running through April 30, 2020, Keep Nassau Beautiful (KNB) volunteers, partner organizations, and community residents will plant up to 300 trees in Nassau County.
The Adopt-A-Tree project is launched in response to the loss of trees in Nassau County due to development, weather events and age. Trees may be adopted by individuals, businesses, and organizations, and will be planted on private and public property as approved for the tree species. A limited number of legacy trees will be available for those wishing to donate funds for the planting of a larger tree on public property, and if desired, the donor will receive public recognition. Educational support for the Adopt-A-Tree project is being provided by University of Florida’s Nassau County Cooperative Extension Service. The project is being generously funded through dedicated grants, fundraising activities and private donations.
“Trees are essential to reversing climate change, maintaining wildlife habitat, retaining property values and providing aesthetic beauty,” said Kelley McCarter, KNB Board Secretary and Project Chair, “that is why Keep Nassau Beautiful is introducing Adopt-A-Tree as the first project of its newest program, Planting Nassau’s Future.”
To donate, www.keepnassaubeautiful.org/donate/. For more information on Planting Nassau’s Future and Adopt-A-Tree or to donate a legacy tree, KNB@KeepNassauBeautiful.org or 904-261-0165.
Keep Nassau Beautiful, Inc. is working to inspire, educate, and equip individuals, groups, businesses and governments to take action to make Nassau County a place where residents, visitors and wildlife can thrive and experience the beauty of Nassau County. www.keepnassaubeautiful.org
On Monday, November 25, 2019, work will commence for the long-awaited County Road 115 Widening and Resurfacing Project, from Henry Smith Road to Bypass Road.
The project will consist of milling and resurfacing of the existing lanes, widening the road approximately 1’ on both sides, construction of new 5’ paved shoulders, and reconstruction of ditches with cross drains and side drains. A contract for construction was awarded to Anderson Columbia at the September 23, 2019 Board of County Commissioner’s meeting.
The overall budget for the project totals $9,631,351 and is being paid for through a combination of Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) and Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) Funding from the Florida Department of Transportation amounting to $8,999,026, in addition to $632,325 funding from the County.
The construction duration is 340 days but is subject to weather delays. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by November 2020.
Should you have any questions, please contact County Engineer, Robert Companion, at (904) 530-6225 or via email at email@example.com.
The West Nassau Historical Society is pleased to announce the offering of a series of art classes for seniors, ages 55 and over, to be held this Winter. Each class will be conducted inside the historic Callahan Train Depot, located at 45383 Dixie Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Noon) on Tuesday, February 4th, 11th and 18th. The climax of the art sessions will be a public reception and exhibit of the seniors' art work on Saturday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. A nominal fee of $10.00 per class or $25.00 for all three will be charged to defray the cost of the art supplies.
Classes will be taught by Historical Society director Elizabeth Karoly, a retired instructor of art from the New York state school system. Ms. Karoly earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University in New York. She also served on the faculty of Long Island University, Stony Brook University and Nassau Community College in Long Island. Her art has been exhibited extensively in the New York area.
Class sizes are limited, so preregistration is required. A registration form is available from the West Nassau Historical Society website at www.wnhsfl.org or by calling (904) 879-3406. The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of history and culture in Nassau County, Florida. The 501c3 group is an active member of Arts and Culture Nassau, an advocacy for art and culture throughout Nassau County.
Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Florida small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Dorian from August 28 through September 9, 2019.
Acting SBA Administrator Christopher Pilkerton made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Ron DeSantis on November 6, 2019, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flager, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Seminole, Volusia and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter and Wakulla in Florida; and Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans," said Pilkerton. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority as SBA."
Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million. The SBA offers economic injury loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Eligible small businesses include but are not limited to commercial fishermen, charter boats, hotels, restaurants, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
The rates on these working capital loans are 4 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Eligibility for the loan is based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
"The SBA can help affected small businesses and nonprofit organizations overcome their economic losses by offering working capital loans, but the help cannot start until they submit an SBA disaster loan application to us," said SBA's South Florida District Director Victoria Guerrero.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.SBA.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 13, 2020.
You’re invited to join the celebration for the opening of the UF Health Wildlight medical office building at the public open house event, scheduled for Saturday, November 23rd. Meet UF Health providers, tour the building and receive free health screenings. There will be fun for the whole family! UF Health is proud to be the official medical provider for Wildlight and looks forward to serving residents from Nassau County and surrounding areas beginning Dec. 6.
Saturday, November 23rd
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Noon)
UF Health Wildlight
76011 William Burgess Blvd.
Yulee, FL 32097
Scheduled to open on Dec. 6, the 40,000-square-foot facility will include:
For more information, please visit www.wildlight.ufhealthjax.org or call (904) 383-1000.
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