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Friends of the Library Receives Gift for Local History Section

Friends of the Library Receives Challenge Gift for Local History SectionFernandina Beach, FL – With Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) approaching its fundraising goal for library improvements, an anonymous benefactor has donated $5,000 of the $35,000 needed to sponsor the local history section. This gift includes a challenge to other local history buffs to join him and cover the remaining $30,000 needed to purchase furniture and collection additions, says Dee Torre, Friends of the Library Campaign Chair.

According to Torre, most rooms and special sections in the ‘new’ library have already been sponsored or ‘named’ by donors or in memory of their loved ones. “Local history is important in our community and is one of only two areas left without a ‘name.’ We are excited that this individual has started this effort to sponsor ‘Friends of Local History’ section.”

Currently, the local history section features books, periodicals and other documents relevant to past and current people and events in Nassau County, nearby Georgia, and Florida as a whole. “In addition to physical publications, we need a designated computer and databases so people can access the many other resources that are available online. Tables, shelving and comfortable work and study areas are also greatly needed,” says Nassau County Assistant Library Director, Janet Loveless. “With additional funds we can add special collections and resources not already available in our community, thus giving patrons free access to local history six days a week.”

The first phase of furniture and equipment purchased with FOL funds is now on order and should arrive soon and we anticipate other orders this fall, Torre said. “We are thrilled to be so close to reaching our goal of a well-equipped library. Thanks to amazing generosity from the community, FOL has raised $1,020,000 of the $1.2 million it promised several years ago to match City and County contributions to this library improvement project.”

To donate to “Friends of Local History” or learn more about naming opportunities, call 904-321-6529 or visit fernandinafol.org, where you can make a donation online, join FOL, renew your membership, purchase event tickets and volunteer.

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Mid-Summer 2015 Update from Nassau’s Property Appraiser

Mid-Summer 2015 Update from Nassau's Property AppraiserNassau County, FL – “Thank you again for the opportunity you have given me to serve as your Property Appraiser. It truly is an honor and a privilege. For the third year in row we have reduced our expenses by cutting waste, cross training staff, outsourcing work, and embracing technology. We will continue to look for ways to improve our efficiency, save tax dollars, and offer the very best in customer service. I want to thank the other Constitutional Officers; Supervisor of Elections, Vicki Cannon; Tax Collector, John Drew, and Sheriff Bill Leeper for working with us on inter-local agreements which result in the sharing of staff and resources that have helped reduce our expenses and ultimately save tax dollars.

In 2014, we assumed the responsibility of 911 addressing which had previously been handled by the Sheriff’s office. This enabled us to have one unified GIS map for the County and allowed the Sheriff to reduce his staff size without a net increase to our staff. We also implemented an online homestead exemption option. You can now file for homestead exemption from the comfort and convenience of your home or office.

The 2015 assessment roll was recently approved by the Department of Revenue for Nassau County and reflects an increase in the taxable value for a second year in a row. Strong sales activity during 2014 has helped stabilize the local market by reducing inventory and shifting the market from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market in some price ranges. The value increase is directly related to supply and demand economics, historically low interest rates, and increase in new construction.

New construction during 2014 has added over $140 million of building value to the tax roll.

It is the statutory responsibility of the Property Appraiser’s Office to list and appraise all properties within the County to a fair market value every year and to administer property tax exemptions. It is the commitment of this office to execute the duties and responsibilities of the office of Property Appraiser in a fair and equitable manner. Therefore, we have continued to work hard to correct inconsistencies in the way property had been appraised in the past and to try and make sure we are not appraising property for more than it could reasonably sell for in the open market. The market value for 2015 is up by more than 6% compared to 2014, while the taxable value is up more than 5%. This is good news for Nassau County because it helps restore equity to property owners who lost value during the recession. Properties with homestead exemption are protected by the “Save Our Homes” Amendment which caps the amount of increase to the assessed value to no more than 3%, or the consumer price index, whichever is lower. For 2015 the increase is capped at .8%. Also, it should be noted that higher property values do not necessarily mean a tax increase. Local taxing authorities have the option to use the “Roll Back Rate” which would keep taxes at their current level.

During the next few weeks, all property owners will receive their notice of proposed property taxes, also known as the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice. This notice will give you your 2015 values and list any exemptions you have applied and been approved for. If you believe your property is worth less than the Market Value stated on the notice, please call or email our office to discuss. We will be glad to review and get back with you. It is the goal of this office to be efficient, consistent, and fair with all property owners. I am happy to meet with you personally.

As Property Appraiser I appreciate the opportunity you have given me and I am here to continue serving you to the best of my ability.”

A. Michael Hickox
Nassau County Property Appraiser

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Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wins Award for Outstanding Performance

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wins Award for Outstanding PerformanceBrian P. Henning of Edward Jones recently won the firm’s coveted Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes new financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers with the financial services firm. Henning was one of only 247 of the firm’s more than 14,000 financial advisors to receive the award.

Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner, said the award is a strong indicator of a financial advisor’s future success.

“We recruit and hire our financial advisors from among the best, so we expect them to do well,” Weddle said. “But to achieve such success early in his career with Edward Jones is outstanding, and I commend Brian for his performance and dedication.”

The award is named after Edward Jones legend Zeke McIntyre, who opened the firm’s first branch office in 1957 in Mexico, Mo.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, is headquartered in St. Louis. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with and do not endorse products or services of Edward Jones. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

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August 2015 at the AIFBY Chamber of Commerce

August 2015 at the AIFBY Chamber of CommerceAmelia Island, FL – Here is what’s coming up in August at the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce:

Tuesday, August 11, 8:30 am • Yulee Area Council • Wards Auto Painting & Bodyworks • 463360 SR 200, Yulee, FL 32097 • Free for Chamber members; $25 for prospective members

Tuesday, August 18, 8:30 am • Health Care Council • Chamber of Commerce • 961687 Gateway Blvd, Suite 101G, Fernandina Beach, FL

Thursday, August 20, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm • Business After Hours hosted by Castle Group, Amelia Island Plantation Community Association, and Osprey Village • Walker’s Landing • 1 Walker’s Landing, Amelia Island, FL 32034 • $5 for Chamber members; $25 for prospective members

Friday, August 21, 5:00 pm • Ribbon Cutting • Art on Centre • 503 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Friday, August 28, 8:30 am-11:30 am • First Coast CPR training for Chamber members • Chamber of Commerce • 961687 Gateway Blvd, Suite 101G, Fernandina Beach, FL • Free for Chamber members, limited to 10 per class • Register through www.islandchamber.com

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Hundreds Show Support of Kathy Burns for Superintendent of Schools

Hundreds Show Support of Kathy Burns for Superintendent of SchoolsNassau County, FL – Dr. Kathy Burns, a lifelong resident of Nassau County and candidate for Superintendent of Schools, held her campaign kick-off event this past Tuesday, touting her education, experience, and leadership skills.

Dr. Burns was well received by the nearly 400 people in attendance with over five thousand dollars being raised for her campaign. “It was very humbling having so much support from the community,” said Burns.

Retired Fernandina Beach High School Band Director Johnny Robinson performed for the evening alongside the Instant Groove Band while members of the Nassau County Professional Firefighters prepared the meal.

Campaign Kickoff 2015-BurnsNotable supporters who attended the event included Tax Collector John Drew, Chair of the County Commission Pat Edwards, Commissioner Danny Leeper, Chair of the School Board Donna Martin, School Board Members Gail Cook and Jamie Deonas, along with many other dignitaries and elected officials.

Retiring Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Ruis gave an encouraging speech, endorsing Dr. Burns as his successor.

It was announced at the event that this was possibly the largest campaign rally in Nassau County history.

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Fernandina Airport’s Master Plan Update Coming Together

Fernandina Airport's Master Plan Update Coming TogetherThe Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Passero Associates are producing well-laid plans for the next 20 years.

Utilizing teamwork and discussions completed to date, Passero has created a geographical layout of the city’s airport (FHB). It is separated into eight core areas of focus, based on information from a web survey regarding FHB development. The planning team is now addressing each core area individually as it formulates its Master Plan Update:

Core 1 recommendations: Additional t-hangars; public welcome center with entryway; public fire station.
Core 2 recommendations: Leave these 8.64 acres untouched for now, with possibilities for limited access in the future.
Core 3 recommendations: Larger, corporate hangars; mixed t-hangars. These recommendations have already been presented to and accepted by the Fernandina Beach City Commission.
Core 4 recommendations: Already preserved as a golf course.
Core 5 recommendations: Build an access road and provide for additional aviation uses (hangars, t-hangars, aviation businesses). This will not impact the utility of decommissioned runway 18-36 as an overflow parking area. In fact, this area will likely be left alone for some time and designated as available for future aviation developments. No prescriptive development is planned for the FHB Master Plan Update.
Core 6 recommendations: Reserve for future non-aviation development.
Core 7 recommendations: Small parcel sizes and proximity to the runway make this area challenging, although a future marina to support Crane Island development could prove to be a good use. The TAC concurred that development in this section could be difficult and it desires these areas to be left alone.
Core 8 recommendations: Split the designation as non-aviation/aviation for the 20-year plan update, with non-aviation available in the northwest quadrant of the core and aviation developments in the southwest quadrant.

Progress also continues with the airport’s business planning via team member Dr. Dave Byers of Quadrex Aviation. Dr. Byers is working on a strategic business plan, as well as principal guiding documents and assessment of the airport’s regional value.

Most of the principal guiding documents are in place already, but the goal is to manage and enhance the appearance and development of the airport. The documents have been streamlined and will assist future developers in matching their own business plans with FHB’s expectations.

The airport’s regional value can be increased by staying aware of what nearby airports are doing. There is also plenty of potential for increasing non-aviation usage of airport property. However, this requires better vehicle access and smoother traffic in and out of the airport. The installation of a roundabout at the main entrance has been deemed a good consideration while addressing these issues.

Working on behalf of the City, Passero Associates communicates to the City of Fernandina Beach, its citizens and Municipal Airport stakeholders, the ongoing process of developing a master plan for FHB. This planning process will be periodically reported to the public in the form of meetings to be held in Fernandina Beach. The FHB Communications Plan involves conducting and documenting five public meetings and distributing concise summaries to the public via periodic press releases; email; social media; and a website: http://www.fbfl.us/airportplanningproject

For more information on the planning process, please contact Zach Nelson at (904) 757-6106 or email to FBmasterplan@yahoo.com

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Sister Hazel to Perform at Fernandina’s Tailgate Classic

Sister Hazel to Perform at Fernandina's Tailgate ClassicKick off football season beach-style with Fernandina Beach’s Great Southern Tailgate Classic on August 21-22. Packed with live music and celebrating the best of football season in the South, the fun starts on Friday night and continues through Saturday, leading up to a performance by alternative rock favorite Sister Hazel.

Host hotel Residence Inn Amelia Island is offering a special package including two night’s stay in a spacious suite, two weekend event tickets ($50 value), free parking, free island shuttle & complimentary hot breakfast buffet. (Plus, just in case you need more time to tailgate, their new outdoor kitchen features two large grills alongside a fire pit, hot tub spa, and pool.)

You won’t want to miss:
-Friday night’s pep rally event kickoff featuring local bands and Colorado’s The Motet, a world-class improvisational funk band
-Saturday’s tailgate cooking demonstrations on the hour from 11am – 3pm
-The chance to earn points for your school by showing off your skills in Knockerball, cornhole, giant pong, dizzy punt, and other games
-Kid’s Zone activities for the younger fans and a Cool Zone for everyone
-Dancing on Saturday afternoon to the high-energy sounds of festival favorites Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and New Orleans’ Dumpstaphunk
-Enjoying singer-songwriter Marc Broussard, a second-generation Louisiana musician known for his “Bayou Soul” style
-The team Spirit Pep Rally leading up to Sister Hazel taking the stage at 7:30 on Saturday night
-Tickets are on sale now, priced at $25 and good for the entire weekend. For more information and the full event schedule, visit greatsoutherntailgateclassic.com and the Great Southern Tailgate Classic Facebook page.

Friday – August 21, 2015
5:00pm – Gates open
5:30pm – 6:30pm – S.P.O.R.E. performs
6:30pm – 7:00pm – Rock-paper-scissors championships
7:00pm – 9:00pm – The Motet performs
9:00pm – Event concludes

Saturday – August 22, 2015
10am – Gates open
10:30am – 11:30am – Drumline showdown opening round
11:30am – 12:30pm – Rusty Shine performs
12:30pm – 1:00pm – Dizzy punt challenge
1:00pm – 2:30pm – Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band performs
2:30pm – 3:00pm – Drumline showdown finals
3:00pm – 4:30pm – Dumpstaphunk performs
5:00pm – Cornhole championships
5:00pm – 6:30pm – Marc Broussard performs
6:30pm – 7:30pm – Team spirit pep rally
7:30pm – 9:00pm – Sister Hazel performs
9:00pm – Event concludes

(Other fan interaction events to be held throughout the day. Stay tuned for updates for updates.)

For more about places to stay and activities to enjoy on Amelia Island, visit ameliaisland.com.

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Rotary Sunrise Receives Significent Achievement Award

Rotary Sunrise Receives Significent Achievement AwardFernandina Beach, FL – Immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise, Mark Cutshaw, of Florida Public Utilities accepted the Significant Achievement Award from Fel Lee, District Governor, at the recent Installation of Officers event held at the Marlin and Barrel Distillery, the newest business in Downtown Fernandina Beach.

Approximately 150 awards of this nature were given out from Rotary International. The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise won for its signature fundraising event – the Annual International Food and Wine Tasting Event held the first weekend of March.

In 2012, the Sunrise Club applied for district matching grants which resulted in over $33,279.04 to Wolfson Children’s Hospital to purchase four pediatric neurosurgery beds. 84 percent of Nassau County children receive care at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

In 2013, Wolfson’s was able to purchase three defibrillators with the proceeds from the fundraiser. In 2014, the Sunrise Club partnered with Arts Alive Nassau to help fund their music education programs.

Upcoming meeting speakers:
Aug 07, 2015-Roger Morenc, Marlin & Barrell Distillery
Aug 14, 2015-Linda McClane, Amelia Community Theatre
Aug 21, 2015-Phyllis Davis, Amelia Island Museum of History
Aug 28, 2015-State Senator, Aaron Bean Legislative Update

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets weekly at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30am. For more information about the club or to attend a breakfast meeting, please contact President, Cindy Jackson, at bijouxamelia@comcast.net, or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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FSCJ Nassau Hosts New Student Information Session

FSCJ Nassau Hosts New Student Information SessionFlorida State College at Jacksonville’s (FSCJ) Nassau Center is hosting a new student information session to introduce prospective students and parents to the numerous opportunities the Nassau Center has to offer. Take a tour of the Nassau Center, meet the caring and dedicated staff and learn about the affordable degrees you can earn without leaving Nassau County. Faculty and staff will discuss admissions, advising, career development, financial aid and degree cohorts.

Degree programs include options such as business administration, supervision and management, culinary arts, cardiovascular technology and more.

Door prizes and light refreshments will be served.

WHEN: Thursday, August 6, 2015, from 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville-Nassau Center
76346 William Burgess Blvd. Yulee, FL 32097

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Fernandina Firefighters Donate to Fernandina’s Library

Fernandina Firefighters Donate to Fernandina's LibraryFernandina Beach, FL – In support of improved library services in our community, members of the Organized Firefighters of Fernandina Beach (OFFB) presented a check for $500.00 to Friends of the Library (FOL) at the July 7, 2015, meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission.

The funds will help purchase furniture for the newly expanded facility.

The Firefighters also announced a smoked chicken dinner fundraiser for the fall that will also support the library improvements.

Pictured:
OFFB President Chett Lyncker
OFFB Vice President James Tucker
FOL President Bill Flynn

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City Cracking Down on Illegal Short Term Resort Rentals

City Cracking Down on Illegal Short Term Resort RentalsBecause of persistent complaints from legitimate permit holders, the City of Fernandina Beach has begun new enforcement efforts to combat illegal short term resort rentals. Based on recent estimates perhaps more than one-hundred local properties are being rented for less than thirty days at a time, in violation of the City’s Resort Rental ordinance.

In order to qualify for a Resort Rental Dwelling Permit (RRDP) the property must be located in R3 Zoning or be specifically granted an exemption by “grandfathering.” The RRDP can be purchased at City Hall for $300.00 and can be renewed annually for $200.00. The ordinance also protects visitors from unsafe structures and conditions by requiring that a certified home inspection be conducted on the property. The property owner must provide proof of a registered State of Florida Tax ID and all advertising of the property must include a reference to the permit number.

Some individual property owners have reported being unaware of this ordinance, which has been in effect since 2000, and claim that they were simply unaware that they were not allowed to rent their property or that they needed to acquire a city permit to do so. Many others may be hiding behind vacation rental websites, such as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), Airbnb, Flipkey, and many others, to deliberately disguise property details and to conduct business without revealing the exact location of the property.

It is important to note that in 2011 the City increased the fine from $75.00 to $1000.00 for failing to obtain the required permit for short term rentals and that property owners risk appearing before a Special Magistrate or the City Code Board if cited for a violation. In addition, some property owners risk exposure if they have failed to file applicable County Bed Taxes, State of Florida Taxes, Federal Income Taxes, or if it is determined that the rental property benefits from a Homestead Exemption.

The City is willing to work with property owners to insure that they are in compliance with this ordinance. Please call Angie Lester at 904-310-3146.

ARTICLE V. – RESORT RENTAL DWELLING PERMITS
Sec. 26-101. – Permit required.
(a) It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dwelling unit in the city to permit the occupancy of any dwelling unit for resort rental dwelling purposes, unless such occupancy has been authorized by the issuance of a resort rental dwelling permit (RRDP) as provided herein. “resort rental dwelling” or “resort rental residential” shall be as defined in sections 1.07.00 and 4.02.05 of the city’s land development code and which are limited to occupancy periods per rental of less than 30 days.

(b) A resort rental dwelling permit shall be issued only when all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) The owner or his/her agent makes application for a resort rental dwelling permit or a renewal permit on a completed form prescribed by the city accompanied by a fee in an amount to be set by ordinance; and
(2) The resort rental dwelling unit is in compliance with the Land Development Code, including but not limited to regulations restricting outdoor lighting during sea turtle nesting season and has been inspected by the city, a contracted residential home inspector, or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and determined to be in compliance with and licensed in accordance with all applicable provisions and referenced documents of F.S. 509, Lodging and Food Service Establishments; as well as the uniform fire safety standards of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, NFPA 1 and 101, editions adopted and incorporated in the F.A.C., Rule 69A-3.012.
a. Inspections shall be conducted at least once annually by a city official for a fee to be determined by ordinance, by DBPR or by a professional residential home inspector licensed by the State of Florida. All inspections shall be conducted using a city checklist of inspected areas of dwelling unit.

(c) The procedure for issuance of a resort rental dwelling permit is as follows:
(1) The owner of any dwelling unit or his agent shall apply to the city for a RRDP or annual renewal and shall provide such information as required by the city to render a decision. Such application shall be submitted at least 30 calendar days prior to the proposed occupancy date. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to make a false statement in an application for a RRDP.

(d) A resort rental dwelling permit shall remain valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance.

(e) The RRDP shall state:
(1) The date of issuance;
(2) The street address and parcel identification number of the dwelling unit;
(3) The name, address and signatures of the owner, authorized agents, and authorized property managers;
(4) The name and telephone number of a contact person who may be reached 24 hours per day;
(5) The property has been licensed by the DBPR certifying compliance with the standards for resort rental dwellings (transient public lodging establishments) as set forth in F.S. ch. 509, and subsection (b)(2), above;
(6) The total gross floor area of the dwelling unit, as determined by the county property appraiser’s office or a certified survey of the dwelling unit, shall be used to calculate the maximum occupancy rating, which is calculated at 150 square feet gross floor area per person;
(7) A valid and current federal employer tax identification number (FEIN) if applicable, and a Department of Revenue taxpayer ID number for the owner(s) of the property;
(8) A valid and current Florida Department of Revenue Sales Tax Identification Number;
(9) A valid and current DBPR license number under F.S. ch. 509; and
(10) The address and 24-hour contact number for the Fernandina Beach Police Department.

(f) The following regulations shall pertain and apply to resort rental dwelling use of or within a residential dwelling:
(1) A contact person must be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for the purpose of responding promptly to complaints regarding the conduct of the guests of the resort rental dwelling unit. The name and phone number of the contact person must be stated on the RRDP and shall be provided to the city police department by the city. Said contact person must be able to respond in person to a call regarding a complaint within 30 minutes of said call, and said contact person shall be responsible to take any action necessary to address the violation of law or city ordinance;
(2) The owner or manager shall maintain a guest registration, which shall include the name, contact information and address of each unit’s guest;
(3) Parking: The owner shall provide one off-street parking space for every four guests accommodated for sleeping in the unit. Additional parking requirements for new resort rental dwelling permits are set forth in the city’s land development code, section 4.02.05. Notwithstanding the minimum parking requirements stated above, existing developed dwelling units as of the effective date of this ordinance shall be deemed to comply with this section if they met the city’s parking requirements for the type of structure and zoning district at the time of issuance of the certificate of occupancy;
(4) The owner or his agent or manager shall require of each responsible guest a written agreement between a residential dwelling owner and the responsible guest and it shall contain the responsible guest’s agreement to abide by the city’s ordinances regarding the collection and disposal of solid waste as set forth in chapter 66, article II, sections 66-36 through 66-46; litter on private property as set forth in chapter 42, section 42-92; noise as set forth in chapter 42, sections 42-141 et seq.; nuisances as set forth in chapter 42, sections 42-41 and 42-42; beach littering as set forth in section 90-41; alcohol in open containers as set forth in chapter 10 of the City Code; restrictions on outdoor lighting during sea turtle nesting season as set for in the City Code and Land Development Code; and with F.S. § 562.111 which prohibits possession of alcoholic beverages by person(s) under the age of 21, as well as all restrictions, conditions and limits of any permit issued under this section. Copies of the agreement must be produced for inspection by the owner, manager or responsible guest at the request of a police officer or other city official in the lawful performance of his or her duties;
(5) Each resort rental dwelling unit owner shall participate in the city’s “roll-out/roll-back” service as provided in section 66-44(a)(2) of the Code of Ordinances, and condominiums and other multi-family units are exempt from this requirement if they use a common-area trash receptacle such as a dumpster;
(6) It shall be a violation of these regulations to enter into a long-term lease with the intent to subvert the regulatory goals of this section. It shall also be a violation of these regulations for a property owner to lease space to “roommates” for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, when not licensed as provided hereunder. For the purposes of enforcement, a rebuttable presumption shall exist that roommates use a common entrance to a dwelling;
(7) It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent, manager, tenant, guest, broker, real estate agent or other representative of the owner(s) to hold out or advertise a residential dwelling unit as a resort accommodation, resort rental dwelling or vacation rental if the property is not permitted, as provided herein. Any person or business who is found in violation of this regulation shall be subject to business tax receipt suspension and/or revocation;
(8) Every resort rental dwelling shall display at all times a current RRDP in a conspicuous place near the main entrance inside the dwelling unit;
(9) Every advertisement or listing for a resort rental dwelling shall include the current, valid city-issued RRDP #, including but not limited to advertisements or listings on the internet, newspaper, magazines, vacation publications and manager listings. It shall be unlawful to advertise or list a property for renting as a resort rental dwelling or vacation rental without a valid city-issued RRDP; and
(10) All dwelling unit owners with a valid RRDP shall file same with their condominium or homeowners’ association within ten days of obtaining or renewing the RRDP. The city may inspect all RRDP’s filed with any condominium or homeowners’ association.

(g) Fees; set by ordinance.
(1) An initial application fee in an amount to be set by ordinance by the city commission shall accompany the application for a resort rental dwelling permit (RRDP) and renewal as outlined in subsection (b)(1) of this section.
(2) A person or entity that holds a resort rental dwelling permit (RRDP) shall obtain the annual business tax receipt, as provided for in section 74-80, services, division 1 of this Code of Ordinances.
(3) Any late filing fees shall be the same as provided for in the business tax receipt section of this Code, or, at the discretion of the city commission, may be established by ordinance.

(h) Enforcement; penalties.
(1) A violation of this section includes any violation of RRDP requirements which are subject to the fines and penalties listed in subsection (h)(2) below, and owners and managers are jointly and severally liable for RRDP violations. Owners, guests and managers are also jointly and severally liable for guest violations of this City Code and Land Development Code regulations, including but not limited to noise violations, parking violations, outdoor lighting violations during turtle nesting season, nuisance and garbage violations which are subject to citations and fines in accordance with Florida Statutes, section 1-12 and chapter 42 of this City Code. “Jointly and severally liable” is defined as liability of more than one person for which each person is liable to pay the entire fine for violation of an ordinance.
(2) A first violation of the RRDP requirements (not having a valid permit) of this section within any 12-month period shall be punishable by a citation and fine of $1,000.00. Appeals of citations for violation of this section shall be made to the special magistrate as provided in chapter 2 of this City Code. If more than one violation of this section (permitting requirements) or any other City Code provision including but not limited to noise, outdoor lighting during turtle nesting season, nuisance or garbage violations occur in any 12-month period, the owner of the resort rental dwelling property shall be notified in writing of the violation, and the city shall proceed to prosecute the violation through the code enforcement board process as specified in chapter 2 of this City Code. If the code enforcement board finds a violation, the owner may be fined up to $250.00 per day and lien(s) may be placed on the owner’s property.
(3) In addition, any license or RRD permit granted hereunder may be revoked for cause. Any person may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent or enjoin a violation of this section.

(i) Upon the consummation of the sale or transfer of title of any dwelling unit for which an RRDP has been issued, the purchaser or transferee, or his/her authorized agent, shall apply for and obtain from the city a new RRDP in accordance with this section. If the seller/transferor had a valid annual RRDP at the time that the dwelling unit was sold or transferred, the purchaser/transferee shall apply for a new annual permit but not be required to pay an annual permit fee until such time as the RRDP must be renewed the next year. Nothing in this section shall affect the validity of the title between the seller and the buyer.

(j) Temporary RRD (resort residential or resort rental dwelling) permits may be issued by the city after inspection, if it has been determined that an existing violation poses no serious or immediate threat to the health or safety of an occupant or guest and when all of the following conditions are determined to exist:
(1) The owner has been delayed in correcting violations necessary to permit the issuance of an RRD permit but has a valid contract in writing with a qualified person or firm for the performance of work and the furnishing of the materials to correct such violation(s) and the contract specifies the dates for commencement and completion of the work; or the owner provides an affidavit stipulating that the work is to be accomplished by the owner, specifying the date by which the work is to be completed, and furnishes copies of all applicable permits required to enable the owner to make the necessary corrections; and
(2) The city finds that the delay in the correction of the violation(s) and the plans for correction are reasonable and the work can be undertaken and completed while the premises are occupied.

(k) The temporary occupancy permit shall expire at the time set forth therein. On or before the expiration of the temporary occupancy permit, a re-inspection shall be made.
(l) Temporary renewal RRDP’s may be issued by the city if the owner has not completed the required annual inspection as of the annual renewal date; however, such temporary renewal RRDP shall not be valid for more than 60 days after issuance.
(m) The provisions of this section shall not affect any right or obligation imposed by law or by agreement between any owner and occupant, but no agreement shall relieve any person of a duty or obligation imposed by this section.
(n) This section shall not apply to motels, hotels and bed and breakfasts.
(o) An RRDP shall not be required for occupancy of any dwelling unit by a tenant or guest in possession of such dwelling unit on the effective date of this section. Any dwelling unit vacant or vacated after the effective date of this section shall not be occupied for a rental period of four weeks or less than 30 consecutive days pursuant to an oral or written agreement until an RRDP has been issued by the city.
(p) The owner or an adversely affected person aggrieved by any decision of the city under this section other than the revocation or termination of a RRDP or receipt of a citation may appeal said decision by filing a notice of appeal with the community development services department within 30 days of the decision, said notice setting forth that the decision is illegal in whole or in part, specifying the grounds of the illegality; the code enforcement board will hear the appeal and render its decision within 30 days of receipt of the same.
(q) Nothing contained in these regulations shall prohibit the city from enforcing these regulations by any other means including, but not limited to issuance of a written warning, a notice of violation, a civil citation, a summons, a notice to appear in the county court, an arrest, or a civil action for injunctive relief. The enforcement procedures outlined herein are cumulative to all others and shall not be deemed prerequisites to filing suit for the enforcement of these regulations or any section of this City Code.
(Ord. No. 2000-16, § 1, 10-3-00; Ord. No. 2006-46, § 1, 12-5-06; Ord. No. 2011-23, § 1, 11-15-11)

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State Historical Market Application Submitted for Peck High

State Historical Market Application Submitted for Peck HighThe City is pleased to share that it has submitted an application for a Florida Historical Marker for Peck High School, now known as the Peck Center, in conjunction with the Peck Alumni Association. The Peck Center is located at 516 S. 10th Street. The application will be reviewed by the State Historical Marker Council at their September meeting.

The school was built in 1927 as Nassau Colored School Number 1 and known as Peck High School, which served grades one through twelve. The school was constructed as part of the Rosenwald Schools program, which began in 1912 and ended in 1932, and funded the construction of more than 5,300 African-American schools. Peck High School was named after William Henderson Peck, one of the early principals and champions of African-American education in Fernandina Beach. W.H. Peck is among the Great Floridians of the state.

The school was closed in 1969 after desegregation, and for many years was empty. Significant deterioration led community activists to champion preservation of the building beginning in the early 1980’s. The Nassau County School Board transferred ownership of the site to the City of Fernandina Beach in 1989. In the 1990’s, the Florida Division of Historical Resources awarded Special Category Grants to restore Peck High School and return the building to its original appearance.

Today the complex serves as an important community cornerstone and is home to City offices, non-profits, classes and activities, and recreation. In 2010, the Peck Center Complex was included in the City’s local historic district in order to protect the structure for future generations. The building serves as a significant component of the story of African-American heritage in Fernandina Beach.

If approved by the Division of Historical Resources, the Peck Alumni Association will sponsor the marker cost, and the City will install and maintain the marker. The marker is proposed to be placed near the front of the main Peck entrance. The City thanks Ruth Terrell, a Peck alumna, who worked with staff on the marker application.

Adrienne Burke, Community Development Director, attended the National Rosenwald Schools Conference in June 2015 to share the story of Peck High School. Plans are underway with the Amelia Island Museum of History to have a series of events celebrating Peck High next February during African-American History Month.

For more information on the Florida Historical Marker program and the State Historical Marker Council, visit http://dos.myflorida.com/historical/preservation/historical-markers. For information on the Rosenwald Schools program, visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation site at http://www.preservationnation.org/rosenwald.

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HIV and AIDS: Prevention Is Key

HIV and AIDS: Prevention Is KeyIt’s been more than 30 years since a disease now called AIDS was first recognized in the United States. Back then, it was considered a death sentence. No treatments were available, its cause was unknown, and people often died within a few months after being diagnosed. Today, people infected with HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—can live full, healthy lives, in large part because of medicines and other discoveries made with NIH support.

The terms HIV and AIDS can be confusing, because they’re related but different. HIV is a virus that harms your immune system by invading and then destroying your infection-fighting white blood cells. AIDS is the final stage of an untreated HIV infection. People with AIDS can have a range of symptoms, because their weakened immune systems put them at risk for life-threatening infections and cancers.

HIV virus passes from one person to another through certain body fluids, such as blood and semen. About 90% of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur during sex. Shared needles and injection drug use is the second most common route of infection. HIV can also spread from an infected mother to her newborn. HIV isn’t spread through casual contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, sneezing, sharing utensils, or using bathrooms.

Today, by taking a combination of HIV-fighting medicines (called antiretroviral therapy), fewer Americans with HIV are developing AIDS. And some HIV infections can now be prevented by taking daily medications (called PrEP).

Because of these advances, some people may think that there’s little need to be concerned about HIV and AIDS. But nothing could be further from the truth. Nationwide, more than 1 million people are infected with HIV, and each year over 50,000 more become newly infected. About 1 in 7 Americans who have HIV don’t even realize they’re infected, so they may be unknowingly spreading the virus to others. The problem is even more severe in developing nations, especially in parts of Africa.

Even though treatments and prevention strategies can keep HIV in check, there’s still no cure and no vaccine to prevent HIV infections. That’s why NIH-funded scientists continue to search for new, more effective ways to halt HIV infections.

“If you get a diagnosis of HIV infection, and you begin antiretroviral therapy in a timely fashion, before your immune system becomes substantially compromised, your prognosis is excellent,” says Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, NIH’s infectious disease chief, who first began treating AIDS patients in the early 1980s. Studies show that with early treatment, HIV levels may become so low that the virus becomes undetectable in the blood. That lengthens life and reduces the risk of spreading HIV to others. “If those who are infected stay on therapy, they can save their own lives and also help keep HIV from infecting their sexual partners,” Fauci says.

Keeping HIV infections in check requires early diagnosis and taking daily HIV medications for life. Even if it’s undetectable in the blood, once a person’s been infected with HIV, it remains forever hidden in the body. “HIV has the ability to integrate itself into your cells and hide in an inactive form, called a reservoir,” says Fauci. Although medicines can keep virus levels low, they don’t clear out the viral reservoir. So if treatment lapses, HIV comes out of hiding and rushes back into the bloodstream.

For some people, keeping up with this daily health regimen can be a challenge. Nationwide, fewer than 1 in 3 people with HIV takes antiretroviral medicines regularly enough to reduce the virus to undetectable levels. That’s why ongoing NIH-funded studies are creating and evaluating medications that might be taken less often, such as once a month. This approach will be tested in a large clinical trial expected to begin in Africa later this year. Other approaches that don’t depend on daily anti-HIV drugs are also being tested.

Research over the past few decades has identified preventive strategies that work: limit your number of sexual partners, never share needles, and use condoms correctly and regularly. NIH is also exploring new ways to prevent HIV infections, including experimental vaccines.

One preventive approach for people at increased risk for HIV infection involves taking a daily dose of an antiretroviral drug. “In terms of prevention, a game-changer that we’ve got right now is pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP,” says Dr. Carl W. Dieffenbach, who heads NIH’s global research efforts in HIV/AIDS. “This strategy protects you from getting infected with HIV if you take the medication daily.”

A pill form of PrEP (called Truvada) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people at high risk of getting HIV. Truvada combines 2 antiretroviral drugs already used to treat HIV infections.

When it comes to treatment and prevention, Dieffenbach says, “The most important activity that you can engage in is first getting an HIV test.” Your health care provider, community health clinic, and others may offer quick HIV tests, often at no cost to you. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least a yearly HIV screening for people considered at high risk for infection. Testing is especially important for young people from ages 13 to 24, because more than half in that age group who tested positive for HIV didn’t know they’d been infected.

Some people avoid getting tested because they’re afraid of the possibility of being HIV-positive. Others may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about sexual issues, and so they don’t get tested. But the earlier HIV is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

“The stigma associated with HIV infection makes it difficult for some people who are at risk to come forward and either be counseled about how to avoid infection, or if they are infected, to get into a health care system and stay in the health care system,” Fauci says. But studies show that open communication can help people treat and prevent HIV.

“The stigma problem can only be solved one person or one family at a time, because each person’s situation is unique,” Dieffenbach says. “It’s about continuing a conversation with openness and acceptance in communities. As hard as that is, it does really matter.”

Should You Get an HIV Test?
HIV tests involve a simple cheek swab, finger prick, or urine sample. Experts recommend that you get tested for HIV if you answer yes to any of these questions:
-Have you had sex with someone who is HIV-positive or whose HIV status you didn’t know since your last HIV test?
-Have you injected drugs and shared equipment (such as needles or syringes) with others?
-Have you exchanged sex for food, shelter, drugs, or money?
-Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, like syphilis?
-Have you been diagnosed with hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
-Have you had sex with anyone who has any of the risk factors listed above or whose history you don’t know?

(To find HIV testing and care locations, visit https://locator.aids.gov/)

This article was written and used with permission from NIH News in Health. (Adapted from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Samantha Watters, Harrison Wein, and Emma Wojtowicz

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Mid-Century Beachfront Architectural Survey Taking Place

Mid-Century Beachfront Architectural Survey Taking PlaceIn an effort to document the city of Fernandina Beach’s architectural resources outside the Historic Districts, the City Planning Department will again be conducting a documentation survey this summer. In 2012, the Planning Department survey project evaluated beachfront development in the City. Beachfront development was identified in the City’s 2011 Reconnaissance-Level Architectural Survey conducted by Janus Research as a high-priority survey item. Until the survey was completed, little concentrated research had been done on the City’s beachfront development history and the structures along the beach. The project resulted in baseline structure documentation and a research report.

This year, the survey work will encompass mid-century architectural resources. No work has been done to date to recognize local mid-century architectural resources, which are buildings built during the 1940’s to 1960’s. The City is fortunate to be partnering with the Amelia Island Museum of History to conduct this survey. A Museum intern will be working on the project. The survey field work will consist of collecting historical information on neighborhood and building development in the City, and taking photographs of residential and commercial buildings in neighborhoods downtown and north and south of Atlantic Avenue. Photographs will be taken from the right-of-way only and will not encroach on private property.

This survey, along with the 2012 beachfront survey, is being done for informational purposes only, to document existing structures as of the survey date. The 2011 Janus Survey did not identify any potential new historic districts in the City.

For more information or to ask questions, please call the City of Fernandina Beach Community Development Department at 904-310-3135 or email Adrienne Burke at aburke@fbfl.org.

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Edward Jones Named One of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials

Edward Jones Named One of the 100 Best Workplaces for MillennialsFinancial-services firm Edward Jones was recognized as one of the “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials” in the country by Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine, according to the three Edward Jones financial advisors in Fernandina Beach.

Edward Jones ranked the No. 10 best workplace for millennials, a generation defined from the early 1980s through 2001. This ranking comes from an anonymous survey of associates administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work.

“As we grow our firm to serve succeeding generations of individual investors, we know that attracting and developing millennials is key to our long-term success,” said Edward Jones Managing Partner Jim Weddle. “We offer a career destination and a business model that allows them to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our clients.”

Edward Jones and the 99 other winning companies were selected based on the evaluations of nearly 90,000 millennial-aged employees who were surveyed using the Trust Index, Great Place to Work’s employee assessment survey. The “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials” is part of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortune based entirely on employee surveys from published Great Place to Work Reviews.

“Companies focused on solid growth understand that it’s critical for senior leaders to have an in-depth understanding of all their employees’ experiences, regardless of their age, role in the organization, or any other demographic profile,” says Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work United States. “Great workplaces are constantly monitoring and analyzing their employees’ workplace experiences and then taking action to improve them. Ranking on this list is a great indicator that these companies’ efforts to create great workplaces are resonating with millennials.”

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, is headquartered in St. Louis.

FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with and do not endorse products or services of Edward Jones. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

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