The Columbia County Report : Sept 24th

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The bad news for residents of Columbia county is that Shands Lake Shore

hospital will officially close its

doors on Wednesday of next week. The good news is that they will see a decrease in their local property

taxes. This week the lake shore hospital authority board approved a tax millage rate of just .0001, an amount

equal to one cent for every $100,000 in property value. The new rate takes effect on October 1, when

community health systems, which leases the building from the authority, officially vacates the site.

Governor Ron Desantis has announced $50 million for more than 20 statewide springs' restoration projects

to aid the recovery and provide additional protection for Florida’s springs. One of those projects is in

Columbia county and will affect the Ichetucknee river. More than $2.3 million is set aside for the acquisition

of more than 3,600 acres of land to protect springs in Columbia county grasslands at Ichetucknee springs.

Also on the list is the Devil’s Ear springs recharge, Santa Fe springs and sawdust spring. The acquisition of

these lands will help improve aquifer recharge potential, enhance recreational opportunities and protect

native species.

Members of the Columbia county planning and zoning board will meet tonight and on the agenda is a new

commercial development planned for highway 47 and I-75. Plans for a 25 plus acre commercial park called

cornerstone crossing at 47 will be presented. The proposed subdivision will consist of 11 lots ranging in size

from just under an acre to just under 2 acres. Storm water retention, streets, sidewalks, and the project’s

effect on traffic will be presented for preliminary approval.

The lake city humane society will soon have more space to care for Columbia county’s at-risk animals. The

James Montgomery animal wellness center will be home to an expanded clinic providing surgical prep

space and exam rooms, and allowing for the addition of dental services. Funding for the project has been

primarily donation-based, and help is still needed says Jordan Regar – community development manager,

lake city humane society

“We have naming rights for all of the rooms. I was just able to sell one of our exam rooms a few days ago to a

lovely couple in memory of their passed-away dog, so that was really awesome. So we’re looking for donors;

we’re looking for people who want to memorialize one of their pets at one of our rooms.”

In addition, an expanded adoption center will feature 14 new kennels. Materials for the new building are on

site, and construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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