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The Columbia County Report : Sept. 17

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The COVID-19 pandemic has caused outbreaks in the prison system that has also affected many corrections officers. FGC has been asked by the department of corrections to increase the number of trainees in the program to 100 per eleven week program and a total of 300 per year says John Jewett executive director of public safety programs.

“Because of the numbers of trainees that we are trying to get through the basic corrections program we are expanding our capacity by renovating a facility the college has acquired in lake city”

The old boys club facility acquired earlier this year is located just 2 miles from the main campus. The 175,000 dollar cost for the renovations will come from the foundation for Florida gateway college. Construction is expected to last 3 months and the first classes to begin in January.

The city of lake city moved forward this week with upgrades to the municipal airports runway lighting. The Florida department of transportation and the city had planned to share the cost the of the $425,000 rehab, but due to the pandemic’s financial impacts, FDOT has agreed to cover 100% of the installation project says Roland Luster, Lake City Gateway Airport Manager.

“This will be the last phase of all our lighting projects at the airport, and we will have 100% now new led lights which are much more dependable and much brighter that the old type of aircraft lights they used to use, runway lights.”

The airport’s secondary runway can currently only be used during daylight hours due to years of water damage making the lighting and wiring unreliable. The upgraded system will be insulated from ground water and will allow pilots to activate the lights from the air for nighttime landings. The improvements are expected to begin in the coming months with the project completed by the end of the year.

Columbia county commissioners are meeting this afternoon and on the agenda will be the approval to move forward with design work on a 10.2 million dollar wastewater treatment plant for the east side of lake city. Jones Edmunds will present their proposal for 927,000 dollars to design and prepare bid documents for the wastewater treatment plant being built to handle several east lake city facilities and the new weyerhaeuser mega industrial park. The county received a grant from the Florida department of economic opportunity for the project. If approved the design work should take until February of next year with construction set to begin in June with completion in June of 2022.

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