Water wars continue, as Flagler County questions Palm Coast's 25% markup

County Commission tables utility agreement until September.

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  • | 5:00 p.m. August 3, 2015
County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin
County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin
  • Palm Coast Observer
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The proposal to amend the 1996 Utility for Water and Wastewater Services, that would acknowledge the city of Palm Coast as the successor to the Palm Coast Utility Corp., was tabled until the September meeting to allow members of the Flagler County Commission and the Palm Coast City Council to meet.

Questions arose concerning the 25% premium being charged to the Flagler County Airport, which sits like an island of unincorporated Flagler County, surrounded by Palm Coast.

According to commissioner Nate McLaughlin, a premium had not been charged prior to this.

“It borders on immoral to squeeze people on water,” McLaughlin said. “We have Volusia County selling us water without a markup.”

“It borders on immoral to squeeze people on water."

— County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin

County Administrator Craig Coffey said there were options, including checking other sources to provide the water, and developing their own service. He said the short-term solution would be to pay the premium while the county explored other long-term options.

“Long term is the key,” said Commissioner Charles Ericksen. “The airport is here to stay.”

City Council member Bill McGuire approached the podium and encouraged a meeting between the entities on the topic.

“I stood here a month ago and suggested a joint meeting of the City Council and the commission,” he said.

Sea Ray attorney calls out Don Deal

The second reading and adoption of the rezoning proposal for an expanded parking lot at Sea Ray Boats Inc., on Roberts Road, met with continued opposition from Flagler Beach officials and residents living on Lambert Avenue.

The complaints and opposition ranged from odors to noise and the rezoning specification.

Don Deal, a Lambert resident, played a recording of large trucks backing up, which he said was recorded from inside his home, which has a 700-foot buffer from the site.

“Why not call it an industrial purpose PUD (Planned Unit Development)?” he asked.

Representing Sea Ray, attorney Sidney F. Ansbacher, of Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch, said he had read the odor ordinance drafted in 2001.

“Mr. Deal was in the middle of drafting that ordinance,” Ansbacher said. “He was part of the group that grandfathered this corporation into the Flagler County long range planning board and city of Flagler Beach architectural committee.”

The board approved the PUD for the 24.4 acres.

Contractor Review Board

The board approved the reappointment of Barry Martin, roofing contractor representative; William Dudley, Jr. electrical contractor representative; and Luis Medeiro, general building, or residential contractor representative, on the Contractor Review Board.

Brenda Tucker

The Board of County Commissioners meeting began with recognizing Brenda Tucker Boyd for her 17 years of service as a trustee of the Florida Agricultural Museum. Boyd stepped down from her position in June.


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