Ask the mayor

Civics lesson: What services are offered by the city of Palm Coast vs. Flagler County?

A common question asked by new residents.

  • By
  • | 1:18 p.m. January 22, 2024
Mayor David Alfin. File photo
Mayor David Alfin. File photo
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Editor's note: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author in his personal capacity and do not necessarily represent the opinions or the views of the City of Palm Coast or the Palm Coast City Council.

A recent question from a community member: I’m new to Palm Coast and I’m confused.  I get information from both the City and the County and it’s hard for me to understand which one oversees which service.  What’s the difference between the two of them?

This is an often-asked question, not only from new residents, but also from those who’ve lived here for years. Both Flagler County and the city of Palm Coast offer essential services to their constituents. In some instances, these services overlap and in some they work independently, contingent on where you live or what assistance you need. Hopefully, I can clarify some of the functions for you. 

First, here are some basic facts. The county is a subdivision of the state, and the city is a subdivision of the county. Flagler County is home to over 120,000 residents, covering 571 square miles. Five commissioners administer laws for county citizens in three cities (Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach) and two towns (Marineland and Beverly Beach).

The city of Palm Coast has just recently surpassed 100,000 residents, encompassing 90.8 square miles. Five City Council members (including an elected chairman mayor) govern alongside a city manager who implements council decisions. 

City Services

Swale maintenance and stormwater management

Financing for all budget actions

Technology maintenance and upgrades for city facilities

Media relations and marketing

Business licensing within city boundaries

Public records

Public Works within city boundaries

Water and wastewater treatment

Trash/recycling pickup within city boundaries

Code enforcement within city boundaries

Permitting within city boundaries

County Services


Public health


Law enforcement/jail


Property appraisal

Tax collecting and licensing


Trash collection within boundaries

Permitting within county boundaries

Code enforcement within county boundaries

City and County Services that May Overlap

Fire/emergency paramedics

Parks and recreation amenities and events 

Emergency management

Senior services for health and/or recreation

Land and growth management

Palm Coast and Flagler County residents are blessed to have public servants who care enormously about our safety and wellness, the beauty of our area and the robust quality of life we experience here. They take their duties seriously and you can count on all of them to put your needs first.

Have a question for the mayor? Email Publisher Brian McMillan at [email protected].


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