State funds park upgrades
Residents will soon see upgrades to Oxford Street Park in Hilliard.
Town officials received $500,000 for park improvements from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program. Florida Park Services Asst. Director Chuck Hatcher presented a check during the Hilliard Town Council meeting Feb. 2.
Park renovations include refurbishing existing playground equipment and renovating the basketball court, swimming pool and parking lot.
A new walking trail, splash pad, covered picnic facility and new security lights will be added for a total of $470,000, according to information from Hilliard Town Clerk Lisa Purvis.
In other town news, businessman Bobby Franklin told the council of his pending plans to build a new building for C.W. Hilliard American Legion Post 401 members. The current site on U.S. 1 north is leased to members and the lease ends soon, according to Franklin.
A 1-acre site near the Winn Dixie exit is proposed. The post already sells beer and wine. Franklin asked that the town council consider amending the town code to include the sale of liquor as well. Licensed area restaurants are only allowed to sell beer and wine as long as food sales comprise 51 percent of total sales.
“The veterans in this town need support from the community,” Franklin said.
Council President John Beasley said that a veterans building would allow for the sale of beer, wine and liquor.
The council will meet for a workshop at 6 p.m. Monday to discuss the town’s existing code for the sale of alcoholic beverages. The idea did draw some dissention from the council. Councilman Kenny Sims said he plans to attend the workshop, but he would not support the legalization of liquor sales to any businesses.
In another agenda item, the council gave a unanimous consensus to approve on first reading Ordinance No. 2017-05, placing a one-year moratorium on the operation of medical marijuana treatment centers and medical marijuana dispensaries.
Town officials have said that the moratorium could be lifted at any time, in the event that state lawmakers establish legislation before the moratorium ends.
A public hearing will be held at town hall March 2 at 7 p.m.
The council also unanimously approved the purchase of a new brush truck for the Hilliard Volunteer Fire Department. The 2017 Ford F-350 brush truck’s total cost with additional features is $37,383. An $11,900 skid unit was also approved for purchase. It will assist the new brush truck. The older brush truck has mechanical issues and is no longer viable, according to Station 4 volunteer Dallis Hunter.