Live Oak —
During Tuesday’s Live Oak City Council meeting, conversation included a new road, wildflowers, replacing a city ordinance, grants and renaming the county recreation department.
North Central Florida Regional Planning Council Senior Planner Martha Orthoefer addressed the council concerning applications for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). According to Orthoefer, the city council must decide what type of grant the city would like to apply for. The council discussed applying for a housing grant, as well as a neighborhood revitalization grant.
Councilmen John Yulee and Bennie Thomas emphasized their support of applying for a housing grant while District 4 Councilman Adam Prins elaborated on the need to repair city waterlines through a neighborhood revitalization grant. While the city council recognizes the advantages of each grant, only one $700,000 grant can be awarded to the city for this grant cycle, Orthoefer specified.
“We have some neighborhoods in the city where neighbors have to work out a schedule as to when they can take a shower because there isn’t enough water pressure,” Live Oak City Administrator Bob Farley interjected.
Orthoefer suggested to the council that she map out the benefits of either grant and they could determine which of the two, if granted, will provide the most benefit to the citizens of Live Oak.
During the meeting Prins advised the city council that he had been contacted by the conservation service about the city partnering with them in a project to plant wildflowers along the corridors and other areas in the city. Prins pointed out that the measure would reduce maintenance costs and beautify the city of Live Oak. While some discussion revolved around planting wildflowers in the city cemetery, it was the consensus of the council to look into the feasibility of doing so. However, a resolution passed that would allow the city to partner with the conservation service in the planting of wildflowers along roadways and other areas.
New connecting road?
City Council President Ed Rewis suggested that the council consider clearing and constructing a graded roadway between Railroad Avenue and Miller Street once land acquisition is complete in that area. According to Rewis, the land has been donated and the project will cost about $16,000. The council voted unanimously to undertake the project once the land officially belongs to the city.
Also on the agenda was proposed City Ordinance 1317, which amends City Ordinance 1311. City Ordinance 1311 was adopted by the city council to establish the duties and responsibilities of the city administrator. According to City Attorney Erny Sellers, an oversight in the preparation of Ordinance 1311 resulted in the failure to include the office of mayor in Section 4 D. In ordinance 1317, the office of the mayor was included and the section specifies the city administrator shall have general supervision over all city affairs, except the elected mayor, city council and city clerk.
New name for parks & rec
In addition to other items discussed, Mayor Sonny Nobles suggested to the city council that the name of Suwannee Parks and Recreation should be changed to include Live Oak.
According to Sellers, the measure would resolve any issue of parks and recreation using the wrong name.
Parks and Recreation Director Greg Scott’s suggestion for the name change would be Live Oak and Suwannee County Parks and Recreation.
“Their legal name is currently Live Oak Suwannee County Recreation Board,” Sellers told the city council.
In time, the department has become commonly referred to as Suwannee Parks and Recreation. Assuming the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners goes along with the measure, signage will be replaced only as needed.