MAYO — Hearing a full plan for the Sims Property gave the Lafayette County Board of County Commissioners more to consider.

Jared Beauchamp, the Lafayette County forester with the Florida Forest Service, presented the full plan for site prep on the property to the board at its Jan. 13 meeting.

“The herbicide is going to be your best bet,” Beauchamp said. “If it was mine I would do mechanical, because there are trees that need to be removed, then chop the rest of it down, then spray it down.”

Beauchamp said he’d leave the oak trees on the property to help prevent flooding during heavy rainfall.

Board Chairman Anthony Adams said the board needs to decide whether it intends to sell the property before going through that site prep process.

“If we sell the property, we aren’t going to make a return on what we invest into it for site prep,” Adams said. “So if we’re going to sell it, we need to sell it as is.”
The decision on the property was tabled until a later meeting.

Adams also updated the board on a Veterans Services Officer for the county, which he proposed in December. Suwannee County currently shares its officer, Ellis Gray, with Lafayette County.

Adams said he had heard no complaints about the service that Gray provides.

Clerk of Courts Steve Land added that Gray is close to retirement, within a few years, and believes his plans are to continue serving Suwannee County — and, therefore, Lafayette County — until then.

“It was maybe a misconception on our part on how quickly the current officer wanted to leave that position,” Adams said, apologizing to the board for beginning the unnecessary research stage at this point. “It appears now that he intends to stay for awhile longer.”

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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