By John Ayers
The Gilchrist County Commission listened and took action to adopt a resolution supporting the 2nd Amendment of the constitution, identifying Gilchrist County as a Constitution County supporting the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment in this historical document. Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz addressed the five-member board during their December 9th meeting. The Sheriff requested the Gilchrist Commission adopt a resolution supporting the Constitution. “I am a Constitutional Sheriff and I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution in carrying out my duties as Sheriff of Gilchrist County,” he explained. The 2nd Amendment assures the citizens that no laws that unconstitutionally infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, will be supported or enforced by their constitutional officers.
Commissioner Langford gave a motion to support and adopt a resolution that identifies Gilchrist County as a Constitutional County in the State of Florida. Commissioner Thomas gave a second to the discussion as Chairman Gray called for a vote and the action was approved by a unanimous vote of the Commission.
Sheriff Schultz also requested the Commission to allow the Sheriff’s office to use $10,000 from the Crime Prevention account to allow the law enforcement agency to support programs in the schools system like Red Ribbon Week and other activities the Sheriff’s office will be doing to prevent crime in our communities by working with the kids and students in the school system in Gilchrist County. Commissioner Martin made a motion to approve the use of $10,000 from the Sheriff’s budget for Crime Prevention in Gilchrist County. Commissioner Langford gave a second to the motion before the action was approved by a unanimous vote.
Ray Rauscher, a resident of Rock Bluff addressed the Commission and thanked Sheriff Bobby Schultz for supporting the Constitution and the Second Amendment. The North Gilchrist County resident also thanked the Board of County Commissioners for adopting a resolution to support the Sheriff’s actions. “We all need to stand up and support the Constitution and the Second Amendment,” Mr. Rauscher explained.
Gilchrist County Commission Chairman Todd Gray called on Scott Tucker, a Gilchrist County native to address the five-member board to request Gilchrist County identify CR 342 as A.M. “Junior” Kelly Memorial Highway. The East end of County Road 342 begins at the intersection of US 129 (at Akins Barbecue) and travels west to the intersection of CR 341, west of Bell. Tucker said, “Jr. Kelly was a friend to Gilchrist County and this Gilchrist county native was a friend to the community and the many people that he came in contact with.” The Commission agreed to go forward in naming this highway that Mr. Kelly traveled daily from his farm and residence to Bell on CR 341.
The Commission thanked Mr Tucker for his work and his involvement in bringing this request to the Commission’s attention.
Ann Almond a resident of Appaloosa Trails, an unrecorded subdivision in North East Gilchrist County addressed the Commission at 4 p.m. in a time certain portion of the Monday board meeting agenda. Mrs. Almond requested the Commission help the property owners in Appaloosa Trails improve the roads and bring them up to where they can be considered to be adopted and maintained by the Gilchrist County Road Department. Mrs. Almond explained that there are approximately 3 miles of two lane dirt roads in the subdivision that are in very rough condition. The main road entering the subdivision is NE 38th Place.
County Administrator Bobby Crosby reported to the Commission that all of the roads in Appaloosa Trails are private. When the subdivision was sold in 10-acre lots, the roads were platted in the parcels and became private roads. The subdivision was platted and lots were sold in the late 1980s. At that time a home owners association was a part of the land owners package, but has since been dissolved and the original property owner has shown that he will not be involved in the upkeep of the roads.
Gilchrist County Attorney David M Lang, Jr. reported that Appaloosa Trails is a certified unrecorded subdivision that was platted and sold in Gilchrist County without the Board of County Commissioners adopting a design when it was originally platted. Mr. Lang explained that the property owners of Appaloosa Trails would have to identify right-of-ways for the NE 38th Place and deed the right-of-way to Gilchrist County before the roads could be considered to be improved by Gilchrist County. Gilchrist County cannot spend taxpayers’ money on private roads.
The Commission agreed to work with Appaloosa Trails property owners if they would work on preparing right-of-ways and present a plan showing co-operation among the property owners.
Michael McElroy, Gilchrist County Tax Collector, addressed the Commission to discuss a redesign of the Chamber of Commerce building to be remodeled for the Tax Collector’s Office. The renovated floor plan was done by Paul Stressing Associates and would provide the Tax Collector’s office with additional room to provide driver’s license, concealed permits and other needed services to Gilchrist County residents.
A motion was made by Commissioner Thomas to move forward with the a design plan to allow the Tax Collector to move into the Chamber of Commerce building in the Commission meeting room annex. Commissioner Poitevint gave a second to the motion before Chairman Gray called for a vote that was given unanimous approval by the Commission.
After the meeting Tax Collector McElroy said, “I am very pleased with the Board’s decision to move forward with the cost analysis. Should the project prove to be cost effective, the renovation facility will serve our residents for many years and allow us to offer additional services such as driver’s license and concealed weapon permits.”
Commissioner Martin reported that he had received two calls from Gilchrist County residents and they wanted to know more information about the proposed new toll roads that may come through Gilchrist County. He explained that at this point in time, information was very limited, and he asked if more public meetings were scheduled for this area in the near future. Mr. Martin specified that both residents had reported that they were against the toll road coming through Gilchrist County.
Commissioner Martin asked if Gilchrist County had anything to do with the permitting of additional water for the Nestles water plant in Gilchrist County.
Attorney Lang explained that the Suwannee River Water Management District is responsible for all water permits associated with water bottling in the northwest Florida 16 county district.
Commissioner Langford told the Commission that she would make a motion to adopt a resolution against the Suncoast Corridor toll road from coming through Gilchrist County. Commissioner Martin gave a second to the motion before a lengthy discussion began.
Chairman Gray explained that as a member representing Gilchrist County, it would be difficult for him to sit on the forty-one member planning committee and try to do what is best for Gilchrist County when the Commission had adopted a resolution against the proposed toll road. The resolution would limit Gilchrist County’s opportunity to present input on the location of the highway.
Rosemary Woods, Vice President of engineering, design and project management on the Sun Coast corridor, addressed the Commission with JoAnna Hand, Project Manager of M-CORES with the Florida Department of Transportation’s Lake City office. The two representatives requested that the Commission become involved in the planning process and identify what they wanted for Gilchrist County when the public meetings are held after the first of the year.
Scott Tucker addressed the Commission asking the board to get all the information that is available to them before they take action to oppose a project of this manner. “I think it will inhibit a solution by the Commission if the board takes action at this time against this idea of a toll road coming through Gilchrist County,” the resident explained.
Commissioner Langford and Commissioner Martin withdrew their motion and second of a resolution against the Suncoast toll road through Gilchrist County.
Commissioner Gray explained that the board needs to know where the Suncoast corridor will be located before the Commission takes action against this project.
The Suncoast representatives explained that there has been some discussion on the co-locate of the Suncoast corridor with the existing US 19/27 four lane highway that runs through Fanning Springs in Gilchrist County.
Gilchrist Commission adopts resolution to support 2nd Amendment of the Constitution
By John Ayers