By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Century looks for citizens to help on charter

Those interested in helping revise town’s 40-year old charter can apply at town hall


June 27, 2019

The Century Council is seeking Century residents who are interested in being on a charter review board to revise the current 40-year old charter for the town, following a recommendation by the Florida League of Citie's University Director Lynn Tipton.

Councilwoman Ann Brooks brought an example of an application of interest used by the city of Pensacola and showed it to other council members.

“I suggest we have our residents that are interested complete this and then the council can choose from those questionnaires and applications,” said Brooks.

Mayor Henry Hawkins said he thought Tipton told them that each council person could ask one or two people to serve, depending on how many members they decide they want to sit on a charter review board.

Brooks and Hawkins took different positions on the process to acquire names of possible charter review board members.

Councilman Ben Boutwell suggested advertising that the town is creating a committee and then getting packages to interested residents who call town hall interested in being on the board. Those who apply must be a resident of Century.

Boutwell made a motion to use the application of interest and advertise for a charter review commission where residents can come into town hall and pick up the form to fill out, setting July 25, 2019 at 3 p.m. as the deadline for residents to submit their application of interest. Councilman James Smith seconded the motion and the motion carried.

FDOT Beautification Grant

Century Town Planner Debbie Nickles told the council that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had opened its beautification grant, a program for landscaping along state right-of-ways and state roads. The only two roads in Century that will qualify for upgrades are Highway 29 and State Road 4.

Nickles said the application was due in October and the town would need to communication with District 3 FDOT, which handles the Century area.

Nickles asked if the council would approve her to apply for a beautification grant and if they would be willing to sign a resolution at the next council meeting to approve applying for the grant and entering into an agreement with the FDOT if the grant is awarded.

The total amount available is $1,000,000.

Mayor Hawkins said that the county wants more participation on the north end of Escambia County, and encouraged the town to apply for some grants. Due to the technical nature of specific grant writing, Nickles said that the FDOT would provide technical assistance to the town.

“I know the last time the town received a beautification grant, we were required a landscape architect, to help you with what plants are native to that area, what will grow well, what won't, and things like that,” said Nickles. “It's not an over night, easy application. It requires a lot of technical assistance from FDOT and from a landscape architect.”

Brooks asked if Nickles had any specific beautification ideas in mind.

Nickles said she thought about State Road 4 going to Jay and mentioned a canopy road, where trees grow over a road to give shade, something that will be easy to maintain because the town will have to maintain any projects they apply and get approved for.

“I'd like to see maybe starting at the bridge, right after you get off the Escambia River bridge, to maybe do both sides of that road,” she said. “I know there is some on the north side of State Road 4 that is not in the town limits, but I'd love to ask them if they are willing to participate because it will certainly make their area look nicer too.”

Nickles also mentioned putting a welcome sign there because there is no sign there.

Numerous project are welcome, but Nickles said it is difficult to come up with something for Highway 29 north, because the sidewalk is on the right of way, and there is not a lot of room for improvements.

Councilman Boutwell suggested that corners with multiple signs that are unsightly could be put on one board with a flower bed near or under it and mentioned that several visible signs need upgrades or a new design to make it more sightly. Nickles said that the town's sign ordinance needs to be updated.

Councilman Boutwell made a motion to adopt a resolution to apply for a beautification grant and enter into an interlocal agreement with FDOT, which was seconded by Council James Smith. The motion carried.


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