CHIPLEY – Chipley City Council members heard from concerned residents and approved two variance requests on the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning board when the council met in regular session Tuesday.
The first variance, requested by Wanda Campbell, will allow for the placement of a mobile home at 760 Orange Street.
The second variance, requested by Sharice Noles for 995 Haywood Drive, will allow Noles to meet a requirement in order to sell the home. The home sits only six feet from the right-of-way, falling short of meeting the setback requirement of 30 feet.
The council heard from former Chipley Mayor Linda Cain, who expressed concerns regarding the lack of fencing around the Third Street holding pond, stating the pond poses a potential danger. City Administrator Dan Miner stated he had talked to Washington County Commissioner Alan T. Bush about having the fence replaced. The previous fence was torn down during the construction of the new courthouse.
Debra Brown of Dermot Circle addressed council members about flooding occurring on the street after a heavy rainfall.
"The City brought in dirt and advised us to shovel it where we needed it," Brown said. "Dirt is not enough; it needs a drain."
Miner responded by telling Brown a city crew would stop by her home the following morning to address the issue.
Chipley resident Dawn Veit also spoke during the public input portion of the meeting, once again addressing her repeated requests for the City to construct a splash pad.
Veit asserted that council members had not handled the grant process properly, stating that Chipley's grants for improvements at Pal's Park through the Florida Recreation Development Assistant Program (FRDAP) had not been closed out, rendering the City ineligible to receive more state funding.
"You guys don't care," she told the council. "You gave up $450,000 [in grant opportunities] in three years."
Veit and others in attendance went on to question why smaller municipalities in the are such as Bonifay and Wausau were able to secure grant funding for similar projects while Chipley has not.
Miner assured Veit that efforts are still being made to construct a splash pad in Chipley.
"We're committed to building a splash pad," Miner said. "You can't compare us to other cities."
In other business, the first reading was held for an ordinance pertaining to administrative fees for zoning changes. The fees will jump from the $100 to $500 in order to fall in line with the zoning policy.
The council approved additional work for the Watts Avenue resurfacing project, bring the project's total cost to $24,934.51. The milling and resurfacing cost will be paid for out the street repair fund.
The council also agreed to donate $100 to help rising Kate M. Smith fifth grader Kinsleigh Hunter travel to Detroit, Michigan to compete in the Junior Olympics. Hunter is believed to be the first Washington County resident to ever qualify for the honor.
Chipley City Council will meet again in workshop on at 5 p.m. on August 10.