DFS City Council Feb. 25 meeting WIC “Farmers Market Nutrition Program” approved for DFS

VICTORIA CUCHENS with the Walton County Health Department WIC program speaking on WIC farmers market vouchers at the Feb. 25 regular DeFuniak Springs City Council meeting.

Story and photo by JENNA BAILEY

On Monday, February 25, the DeFuniak Springs (DFS) City Council held a regular meeting at DeFuniak Springs City Hall at 6 p.m. The meeting began with the council’s approval of the February 11, 2019 regular meeting minutes followed by old business. 

Old Business — At a previous regular city council meeting it was requested that the city reimburse Ellen Mayfield for Christmas Reflections 2018 expenses. In old business at the Feb. 25 meeting City Manager Mell Smigielski informed those in attendance that the request to reimburse Ellen Mayfield had been approved. 

Consent/Regular Agenda — The consent agenda was approved with one addition under “Administration” regarding a city facility request with the Florida Panhandle Women’s Retreat. The regular agenda was approved with the deletion of item 9B under Executive Request. 

Citizen Comments — In citizen comments NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) member Tyrone Broadus stated to Mayor Bob Campbell, “On behalf of the NAACP, Tivoli Historical Society, and the Walton County Democratic Black Caucus, we’d like to thank you for participation in our Black History events on February the 15th and for participation in the parade on February 16, and for all of the government officials, Chief of Police, and members of the fire department and police department.”

Agenda Request — First under agenda request was Victoria Cuchens with the Walton County Health Department (WCHD) WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program. Cuchens’ item regarded Walton County farmers market WIC vouchers. A 27-year program, WIC allows participants to receive $30 each to use at local farmers markets for fresh produce and to help the local community. Action requested of the council was approval for local farmers to receive access to the WCHD location in DeFuniak Springs to sell locally grown produce during the week to WIC participants. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides WIC participants with coupons that can be used to purchase locally grown, fresh Florida fruits and vegetables. This produce can be purchased from authorized farmers at selected farmers’ markets during the program dates listed on the coupons. 

FMNP coupons can be used by looking for farmers displaying the FMNP sign and choosing from the locally grown FMNP-approved produce available. Participants provide the WIC identification card, sign their name on the coupon and give the coupon to the farmer. WIC participants that qualify for FMNP are pregnant, postpartum or breast-feeding women and children ages 1-5 who are enrolled in the WIC program. The council approved this item.

Next for agenda request was an request by the DFS city manager Mell Smigielski  for council direction regarding a utility bill adjustment for a DFS resident whose water bill was unusually high due to a faulty work. To resolve the matter, the council was asked if it would be appropriate to create a payment plan for the individual and to develop a policy to handle this situation in the future. The council agreed to Smigielski recommendation. 

Third, Smigielski spoke on his approval of the City vision, mission and value statements. 

Executive Request — In executive request Mayor Campbell suggested that council consider the relocation/removal of Gene Hurley Park located on U.S. 90 in DFS or relocation of the park’s equipment. The suggestion regards the future expansion to the DFS airport and if the park could potentially take up space for said expansion. No action was required for this item. Second, Mayor Campbell requested approval for a two-day overnight stay in Tallahassee, Fla. to attend the NWF League of Cities Legislative Session. The council approved this request.

The next DeFuniak Springs Regular City Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6 p.m. at DeFuniak Springs City Hall.