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Council aims to bring GED program to Town of Havana

At the Havana Town Council meeting last Tuesday evening, the council heard a presentation from Beth Kirkland – executive director of the Gadsden County Development Council – and Ed Radigan – a recruiter for the Workforce Development Department of Tallahassee Community College – about bringing a GED program from the college to Havana.

Radigan said that anyone who takes the program will be issued a Tallahassee Community College ID and have all the privileges of any other student at the college. Radigan also said that with the current technology each student will get personalized instruction to help them prepare to pass the GED test depending upon what skills they need help with as determined by a placement exam. Radigan also said that obtaining a GED degree these days is as good as any other high school degree in the state of Florida. Cost of the course should be about $30 a semester for the 15-week course.

The college is looking for eight to 10 students to fill the class, but will settle for five or six students to get the program started. There are some scholarships available for those who need them through CareerSource Capital Region. The town is supposed to begin finding out people interested in taking the class – and when enough people are interested the college will hold a workshop to go over the details for implementing the course.

More details on when the program may start will be forthcoming. If you are interested in signing up for this GED program in Havana, contact Havana Town Hall at (850) 539-2820.

Request to approve drinking water, sewer asset management plans
A Tallahassee-based global engineering, management and development consultancy – also presented the council with resolutions to pass to draft both a drinking water asset and sewer asset management plans for the town. These resolutions both passed the council unanimously by a 6-0 vote.

These plans call for proposed assessments of taxes to Havana residents to guarantee the town will be able to pay back loans to the state Department of Environmental Protection that the town received recently to help update the town’s drinking water and sewer systems. The town also received substantial grant money for these projects.

Second Letters regarding Southside Annexation go out
Havana Town Manager Howard McKinnon reported that the second letters went out to property owners south of the town who would be affected by the proposed annexation into the town limits of parcels of land located south of the town.

Only 36 percent of property owners responded to the first letter – far too low a response rate for the town to decide whether or not to move forward with the annexation, McKinnon said.

League of Cities Resolution
The council also passed a resolution suggested by the Florida League of Cities – and brought to the council by Mayor Pro-Tem Decorkus Allen, a board member of the Northwest Florida League of Cities – by a unanimous 6-0 vote to recognize the 50th anniversary of Home Rule in Florida.

Home Rule is a power granted to Florida municipalities by the Florida Legislature on August 2, 1968 for these bodies to establish their own form of government through their charters – and to then enact ordinances, codes, plans and resolutions without prior state approval.

Budget meetings set
The council also agreed to set a workshop to go over the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28 – with the two public hearings to vote on this budget and the proposed millage rate (a figure used to calculate property taxes) set for 6 p.m. on Mondays September 10 and September 24.

All these meetings will take place at Havana Town Hall (located at 711 N. Main Street at the corner of 1st Avenue North).

By Randall Lieberman