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News Briefs: June 21, 2018

Planning Commission OKs Midway Business Park plat
At its June 14 meeting, the Gadsden County Planning Commission finalized the Midway Business Park Preliminary Plat and voted unanimously to send it to the Board of County Commissioners for approval. Commissioners will vote on the business park plat, which calls for the creation of 33 lots on 191.29 acres of land in Midway, at its regular July 3 meeting, 6 p.m. at the County Commission chambers, 9-B E. Jefferson St. The application for the Midway park plat was first brought before the county commission at May 15, but commissioners voted to send the proposal back to the Planning Commission for further review.

AMBER alerts now available by text message or email
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is upgrading its AMBER and Missing Child Alert Public Notification System to expand the ways citizens are informed during a Florida AMBER or Missing Child Alert. The new system is available starting today, and current subscribers will receive an email about the change. Using the Everbridge platform, citizens can now receive AMBER and Missing Child Alerts through text messages, as well as email. In the coming months, citizens will also be able to sign up to receive alerts through voice calls, TDD/TTY messaging, and through mobile device apps. To use the new system, citizens must create an Everbridge account at the following address: Everbridge will use your email and phone numbers to send Florida AMBER and Missing Child Alert notifications only. Information will not be sold or distributed. Everbridge is used by government agencies to issue emergency alerts, like severe weather warnings, nationally and in Florida.

Federal Emergency Management Agency urges Floridians to buy flood insurance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages Floridians to think about not just wind damage, but flooding this hurricane season. Neither homeowners nor rental insurance covers flood damage, and most business insurance policies exclude it, as well. Only flood insurance protects you in a flood event. Through both heavy rainfall and storm surge, hurricanes – even non-major storms – often cause flooding. Floridians who don’t have flood insurance during a hurricane will likely experience financial hardship due to lost or ruined property. Floridians who live in low-to-moderate risk areas can purchase an annual flood insurance policy for as little as $500. To find an agent who sells flood insurance or to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program, call 800-427-4661 or visit

Change to land use map to allow sand mining
At its June 14 meeting, the Gadsden County Planning Commission voted to recommend a change to the county’s Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map that would allow for sand mining on a 145.5-acre tract south of Quincy. The change called for the 145.5 acres of land currently zoned “agriculture-3” to be changed to approximately 65.65 acres of land to be zoned for mining and for 79.85 acres of land to be zoned for conservation. The land owner, the C.W. Roberts Contracting Plant, plans to mine sand on the property. The commission approved the recommendation despite the protests of Ed Allen of the Friends of Lake Talquin. Allen told the Planning Commission “the last thing this area needs” is more sand pits and heavy truck traffic, saying it would negatively impact the surrounding community.

Free meals for students during summer break
Gadsden County kids age 18 and under, can eat nutritious meals free-of-cost during summer break, thanks to an initiative by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program, called “Summer BreakSpot,” provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at multiple locations in Gadsden County and throughout Florida. All sites are adult-supervised. To find a location, dial 2-1-1 or text “FoodFL” to 877-877 or visit