Community briefs 8/17/17

Clay Today
Posted 8/16/17

Resurfacing, other improvements planned for County Road 218 MIDDLEBURG – Work is expected to begin soon on a project to enhance about 21 miles of County Road 218 in Clay County between U.S. 301 …

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Community briefs 8/17/17


Resurfacing, other improvements planned for County Road 218
MIDDLEBURG – Work is expected to begin soon on a project to enhance about 21 miles of County Road 218 in Clay County between U.S. 301 and State Road 16 in Penney Farms.
Planned improvements include the milling and resurfacing of travel lanes, shoulder milling and resurfacing, guardrail removal and replacement, pipe culvert installation, improved signage and roadway striping, and mailbox removal and replacement due to shoulder widening. At an approximate cost of $8 million, construction should be completed in Summer 2018, barring any weather delays or other unforeseen circumstances.
This route impacts Clay County neighborhoods and businesses in Clay Hill, Middleburg, the Lake Asbury area of Green Cove Springs and Penney Farms. The intersection of State Road 21/Blanding Boulevard and County Road 218 will not be included in this resurfacing project, as intersection improvements at that location are part of a future project on State Road 21.
The project contractor, Florida-based Anderson Columbia Company Inc., will begin the first phase of construction within the next few weeks near Middleburg’s Ravines community on County Road 218.
Traffic will be maintained in accordance with FDOT design standards throughout the project. When lane closures are needed, drivers will be alerted in advance via portable, changing message signs. These closure rules are put in place for the traveling safety of families and staff of the schools nearby, which include Clay Hill Elementary, Wilkinson Elementary, Wilkinson Junior High and Shadowlawn Elementary. Lane closure notices are available online at
The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to always follow the speed limit and stay within the limits of orange cones and barrels while traveling through construction zones. Call (904) 813-FDOT with any questions about this or other projects within FDOT District II.

Find a treasure on state lands
PALATKA, Fla. – Modern day adventurers may score a new commemorative coin by geocaching on St. Johns River Water Management District lands this summer, just in time for International Geocaching Day on Aug. 19.
“Geocaching is a great way to explore district lands and enjoy the outdoors,” said Ann Shortelle, SJRWMD executive director. “We are excited to host geocaches on 14 of the district’s public lands, and our new commemorative coin is a treasure that’s worth searching for. Happy hunting!”
Geocaching is most often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek,” sharing many aspects with orienteering and treasure hunting.
Geocachers use a global positioning system receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches” or “caches.” A cache is typically a small waterproof container that includes a logbook and possibly some small trinkets. While the difficulty of finding a cache can vary, the biggest reward is the thrill of the hunt and discovery of a place that is new to you.
Geocaching on district lands does not involve digging or compromising sensitive natural and cultural resources. For information on geocache sites on district lands, visit the district’s website,

Black Creek Water Resource Development Project public meetings scheduled
PALATKA – Two informational public meetings will be held in August to present information about the Black Creek Water Resource Development Project to interested residents and stakeholders. The project, which will be built in southwest Clay County between Penney Farms and Camp Blanding, focuses on providing recharge to the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Keystone Heights region and Lower Santa Fe basin.
The first meeting is Aug. 21 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Jesse Godbold Extension Education Building, 2463 State Road 16 W., Green Cove Springs. The second meeting is Aug. 28 from 2-3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 550 E. Walker Dr. in Keystone Heights.
The Black Creek WRD Project is one of several projects identified in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan to help meet future water supply demands while protecting natural resources. The project is expected to contribute to minimum flows and levels recovery in the Lower Santa Fe Basin and may help improve water levels in lakes in the Alligator Creek system, including lakes Brooklyn and Geneva.
For information and ongoing updates about the project, visit the district's website at

West named among “2017 Women of Influence”
IRVING, Texas – HousingWire has announced its annual Women of Influence list, recognizing Network Funding Branch Manager and Loan Officer Billi West, who is based on Fleming Island. This is the seventh year the publication has recognized the women leading the mortgage and housing industry forward, and each year, the nominations grow more and more competitive.
The 50 women represented in the recent publication cover a variety of occupations within the housing economy, demonstrating leadership that inspires those in their own companies, in their communities and in the industry at large.
Many of this year’s winners mentor other women in the industry, manage internship programs for college students or work with business groups in disadvantaged areas. Others coordinate volunteer programs for their employees or serve on advisory boards that inform the industry. Investing time and effort to see others succeed is a hallmark of this group, and should be celebrated in its own right.
“We are proud of the recognition that Billi West has received for her hard work and dedication within Network Funding and the mortgage lending industry,” said Brett Snortland, executive vice president of Network Funding. “She inspires everyone in our company to get better each and every day.”
“As the mortgage industry continues to do the right thing – increase diversity in the workforce –
the housing finance business will likewise keep moving from strength to strength,” said Jacob Gaffney, HousingWire editor-in-chief. “The progress is undeniable; as the number of influential women in housing grows so does our recognition for the Influential Women of Housing. Our list is bigger and better than ever.”
The entire listing of the “2017 Women of Influence” is available at

Ward elected chairman of NEFLHCC
JACKSONVILLE – The Northeast Florida Healthcare Coalition for Disaster Preparedness announced Richard Ward, safety and security director at Orange Park Medical Center, was elected it chairman of the board, a position he will hold for two years.
Ward follows Leigh Wilsey who served as chair from 2015 to 2017. She was instrumental in the growth and development of the Coalition. The Northeast Florida Healthcare Coalition was formed in 2013 and includes Nassau, Duval, Baker, Clay, Flagler and St. Johns Counties.
The goal of the Coalition is to promote and enhance the emergency preparedness and response capabilities of the healthcare systems in member Counties and the region in general through facilitating communication, information and resource sharing and other tactics.


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