Ponce De Leon audit to be complete ASAP, council approves Senior Day [PREMIUM]

THE PONCE DE LEON City Council met at Town Hall Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The Ponce De Leon (PDL) City Council met at Town Hall Tuesday, Aug. 9, for the monthly council meeting. 

CPA Edward Chapman, who is in charge of the town’s 2021 financial audit, approached the board to review what had been done and answer any questions the council had. The audit was due June 30, so Chapman assured the council he would change wording to reflect the fault be put on himself and not the town. The audit requires he address any fraud and communicate with governing parties prior to ending the audit. Chapman reported that at present he has found no fraud. Chapman also reviewed last year’s management letter, a list of issues found during the audit, and addressed when those issues should be corrected. 

In preparation for a smoother 2022 audit, CPA Dawn Paul, who is currently tasked with getting the town’s financial reports in order, suggested that it is in the town’s best interest to hire someone to manage the reports. Paul offered her services for an extra $100 a month to continue assisting once the current reports are in order. It was agreed that all financial reports will be caught up by the end of September. A motion was passed to accept Paul’s offer. 

Fire Chief Doug Remmel then approached the board with his monthly report. Remmel’s crew received 28 calls this month, 230 for the entire year; last year during this time they had received 205 calls, making this a record-breaking year so far. His crews also received training during the month, including water rescue training. 

In other news, city council election qualifying week will be Sept. 5 – 9, with three positions on the council up for grabs. Candidates must be a resident of Ponce de Leon for at least six months and their drivers license must reflect that.  

Holmes County Council on Aging plans to start a Senior Day on the last Wednesday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where they will serve hot meals, play bingo, and host businesses or organizations who benefit seniors ages 60 and up. A motion to approve Senior Day was passed

Town Clerk Tammy Melerine approached the board and requested permission to apply for the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, in order to update and repair either the tennis courts or Blue Creek Park. Even though it must be turned in by the end of the month, Melerine believes it can be accomplished. A motion was passed to approve her request. 

David Sennell, with Jacobs Engineering, approached the council in regards to a “porta-potty” business asking to dump their toilets at the PDL facility. Currently the business owner drives to the Marianna facility and pays $25. Sennell says they are not opposed to the dumping, but in order to do so safely, the water will need to be tested before dumping and three days after dumping to assure no good bacteria will be killed as a result of the dumping. In order to pay for the initial testing, he recommended the council increase the charge to $50 initially and once testing is complete, drop it to $25. This will not only help the business owner, but will also provide revenue for the town. A motion was passed to move forward with the offer. 

Nathan Morrow, president of Ponce De Leon Athletics, approached the board to discuss improvements being made to Ponce De Leon Athletics, formerly known as Diamond Sports. Diamond Sports was behind on their 501c3 documentation, so Morrow, with a new name, is in the process of getting that status updated. He intends to create an atmosphere for children to learn sports and plans to find coaches to teach a variety of sports. They are currently assembling a basketball team, and signup sheets are at the town hall. They will also host a back-to-school dance for grades 5-12 at the old PDL gym Friday, Aug. 19. with the doors opening at 6 p.m. 

Ponce de Leon will host a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for the Recreation Department at Town Hall Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until the food runs out. Plates will include spaghetti, salad, bread sticks, dessert, and a drink for $10.