By ASHLEY AMASON
The city of DeFuniak Springs received a premium return from their property insurance with the Northwest Florida League of Cities (NWFLOC) in the amount of $24,351 at the Nov. 22 City Council meeting.
Tom Conley from the NWFLOC explained whenever it has a profitable year, in Florida known as a quiet hurricane season, it likes to pass those profits onto its members. Mayor Harold Carpenter accepted the check noting it was a welcome help to the budget.
The Council voted to set a public hearing Dec. 13 to discuss amendments which would make the city of DeFuniak Springs eligible to qualify for the Tree City designation bestowed by the Arbor Day Foundation.
City Manager Kim Kirby received unanimous approval for a budget amendment in the amount of $253,251 for airport operations, including two full-time employees—an airport manager and support position. As of Dec. 1, the city will operate the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport. Councilman Don Harrison emphasized the need to “get the best person we can [for the airport manager]” through a competitive process. Mayor Harold Carpenter countered, “We don’t have time to advertise…we’ve got to move to put someone at the airport tonight.”
The two full-time positions will be temporarily filled by in-house staff, while the positions are advertised.
The Council approved the natural gas franchise agreement with the board of county commissioners.
Thomas Craig and Donald Truett, both residents of Timberwind Estates voiced concerns over the blind curve and absent shoulders along Shoemaker Dr., which combined have resulted in vehicles from Shoemaker Dr. crashing into the back yards of Timberwind Estates homes. Craig said two weeks ago a police deputy’s car crashed into his back yard at 3:30 a.m., stopping inches from the trampoline on which his two children usually play.
Mayor Carpenter directed the public works department to evaluate the options to safe guard the road, whether installing a guard rail, placing cautionary signs, or leveling the road and creating shoulders.