Community Briefs 7/15/21

For Clay Today
Posted 7/14/21

St. Johns River Water Management District to maintain current millage rateCLAY COUNTY – The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board approved a tentative budget …

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Community Briefs 7/15/21


St. Johns River Water Management District to maintain current millage rate

CLAY COUNTY – The St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board approved a tentative budget Tuesday, July 13, that maintains the current millage rate for taxpayers.
“We are pleased to keep District taxes low while providing significant funds for projects to ensure sustainable water resources, increase water conservation, enhance water supply and improve water quality in priority water bodies,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.
The tentative 0.2287 millage rate would result in $97.1 million in revenue toward a total $151.7 million budget for fiscal year 2021-2022, which begins Oct. 1. The budget is also funded through state, federal and other District sources, including timber sales, cattle leases, interest earnings, and permit fees.
Under a 0.2287 millage rate – 22.87 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value – the owner of a $200,000 house with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $34.31 in the coming year in property taxes to the District. Public hearings will be held at 5:05 p.m. Sept. 14 and 28. Final budget adoption will occur at the Sept. 28 Governing Board meeting.

Fleming’s Santana on Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Sondra Santana and Chris Schoonover to the Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys.
Santana, of Fleming Island, is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and Family Nurse Practitioner. She volunteers with the R.M. Paterson Elementary Parent Faculty Association, the Orange Park Junior High Advisory Council and is a member of the Rotary Club of Fleming Island and the Emergency Nurses Association. Santana earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Jacksonville University, master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix, post-master’s certificate in nursing from Ball State University and her doctor of nursing practice from the University of North Florida.
Schoonover, of Tallahassee, is a Partner at Capital City Consulting. Previously, he was a legislative analyst with the Florida House of Representatives and a clerk with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Clay County to get Tropical Storm Elsa emergency aid

CLAY COUNTY – An additional seven Florida counties are designated for federal emergency aid to supplement state, local and tribal response efforts for areas affected by Tropical Storm Elsa beginning on July 4 and continuing.
Clay, Baker, Bradford, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and Union counties have been added to the emergency declaration approved by President Joe Biden on July 4.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA is authorized to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency and, to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, to save lives, to protect property, public health and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the storm. Emergency protective measures limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support will be provided at 75% federal funding.
The complete list of counties now included in the emergency declaration: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Duval, DeSoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lake, Lafayette, Lee, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla.

Berkshire Hathaway
HomeServices benefits Pace Center

ORANGE PARK – Berkshire donated nonperishable food items and more than $1,000 to four nonprofit organizations – Feeding Northeast Florida, Pace Center for Girls – Clay, Pie in the Sky and Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Johns County. The food items and monetary donations were collected during community shredding events at the company’s branch offices on Fleming Island, Mandarin and MuraBella at World Golf Village.
The Fleming Island branch office collected $425 for Pace Center for Girls, Clay.
“Our company is passionate about assisting charitable organizations that make a positive difference in our local neighborhoods,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty CEO Kevin Waugaman. “We are grateful for the support we received from our team and the community who helped make our events a success.” For more information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, visit

Rock & Roll artist John Douglas opens exhibit in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE – Fresh off drumming with Aerosmith at the Grammy’s and
performing at the prestigious MusicCares where Aerosmith was honored as the Person of the Year, John Douglas has been getting ready to continue his 2021 North American Art Tour…
Gallery 725, Jacksonville’s premier fine art gallery, announces their presentation of Douglas’ “High-Performance” Fine Art Tour: in its limited engagement: July 21 through July 30, with live appearances by Douglas on Saturday, July 24 from noon to 3 p.m. and from 6-9 p.m.; and Sunday, July 25 from noon to 3 p.m.
All artwork will be on exhibition and available for acquisition. The exhibition as well as the John Douglas in-gallery appearances are complimentary and open to the public. For more information, contact the gallery at (904) 345-9320 or RSVPs suggested through Eventbrite.

Garden Club of Fleming Island elects new officers

FLEMING ISLAND – The Garden Club of Fleming Island recently elected LouAnn Johanboek as its new president.
The group also elected Margaret McDowell as the first vice president, Wando Malcic as second vice president, Sally McGraw and Pam Ziolko as secretaries and JoAnn Carter as treasurer.
The Garden Club of Fleming Island meets every month except in June and July. It meets on the second Monday of every month at the Fleming Island Library.
The next meeting is on Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Chris Gay. He will be speaking on propagating and care of orchids. He is a Master Gardener and a permaculturist.
Permaculture is an approach to land management and philosophy that adopts arrangements in flourishing natural ecosystems. He loves orchids, Bio-Diversity, and habitat restoration. Gay has lived all over the world and has a wealth of information on many areas of gardening.
Our meetings are open to the public. There is no registration or fees to attend these meetings.


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