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December 18, 2013

Suwannee County commission round-up

Live Oak —

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners met for their bi-monthly meeting. Here’s a brief round-up of what took place:

Board votes to settle TSS lawsuit

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to settle the lawsuit with TSS Development (Suwannee Landing) in the amount of $3.3 million. The board was ordered on Aug. 23 by Third Circuit Judge David Fina to pay TSS Development $2.75 million in damages for breaching a development agreement plus $68,145 for 19.47 acres that was conveyed to the county for Suwannee Landing. With interest included, the total amount owed will be approximately $3,352,289.33. 

The county is seeking to take out a loan with a local bank for $4 million to pay catalyst site contracts as well as $3.3 million for the lawsuit.

Public speaking now welcome

After much heated debates at recent meetings on when the public will and will not speak, the newly appointed chairman, District 4‘s Phil Oxendine, has been open to allow the public to speak, even if it passes the three minutes previously allotted. Currently, the public is allowed to speak on any topic they wish, and speak at the end of the meeting if they have filled out a form requesting to speak. 

County rejects assistance from DCP

The board voted 3-2 to decline assistance from the Department of Community Planning (DCP) in serving as a disinterested third party between the people and the board, that would make a recommendation regarding the land development regulations at the catalyst site. Commissioners Jason Bashaw and Ricky Gamble voted against.

On Nov. 5, The board agreed to contact DCP to see what services they could offer to the county. DCP submitted a letter to the board stating what services they could provide and their willingness to assist the county.

The board then voted 3-2 to decline their help with the catalyst site’s land development regulations.

Minimum wage is going up

The board voted unanimously under consent agenda items to approve the implementation of the new statewide minimum wage from $7.79 to $7.93 per hour. The new rate will become effective Jan. 1, 2014.

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