Jay Morris 

Chair/District 4

Board of County Commissioners

  P: 904.209.0304   

C: 904.814.9403



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Thank you for registering for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners District 4 newsletter. Inside you will find an update regarding projects and events in District 4 and timely information about St. Johns County programs, services, and initiatives.

St. Johns County District 4 Update 

Due to a public-private partnership that is unprecedented in St. Johns County, many residents of District 4 will now receive improved Fire Rescue protection on an expedited schedule, and could potentially benefit from lower home owner insurance rates in the near future.


I was honored to join other members of the Board of County Commissioners, St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department, and the Parc Group on January 14 for a check dedication ceremony commemorating the $750,000 impact fee advance the PARC Group provided for the construction of a new fire station in the community of Nocatee. Construction on the $1.8 million facility will begin this spring with a projected completion date in 2015. The balance of the construction cost will be funded through impact fees already provided by the Nocatee development.


While the need for a station in Northeast St. Johns County was clearly demonstrated and a proposed facility had been listed on the Fire Rescue Master Plan for many years, funding was unavailable and construction was not foreseeable in the near future. Once constructed and fully functional, the new station could also reduce response times in surrounding Fire Rescue coverage zones and improve service levels throughout the area. This innovative agreement allowed the County to accelerate delivery of a crucial public safety service and respond to a community need, while transparently accelerating impact fee funding and responsibly managing the County's overall budget and Capital Improvement program.


It all started with a phone call I received from a Nocatee resident approximately six months ago. This has become a total win/win for Nocatee and the County and could not have been accomplished without the cooperation and backing of the PARC Group and the Davis family.


Jay Morris

Chair / District 4

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners

2013 St. Johns County Fire Rescue Firefighter Awards

St. Johns County Fire Rescue recently announced the 2013 Firefighter, Paramedic, and Department Employee of the Year. Selected based on nominations received from their peers, each winner was formally recognized in conjunction with departmental promotions and commendations during a ceremony in December. Lieutenant Scott Bullard was named Paramedic of the Year. An Officer in the Battalion assigned to Rescue 7, Bullard was noted for consistently representing the department with the highest level of professionalism possible and serving as an accomplished medic in one of the busiest rescue units in the county.


Firefighter Art Naidzich was selected Firefighter of the Year. Trained as a lifeguard and a member of marine rescue, Naidzich was cited for outstanding services during a busy 2013 Memorial Day holiday weekend with dangerous surf and numerous water rescues. Rosemarie Frey was selected by the committee as the Department Employee of the Year. Frey was recognized for exuding a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment, epitomizing St. Johns County Fire Rescue characteristics, and being essential to the efficient operation of the department at large.

St. Augustine Amphitheater Sets Record with 100,000 Tickets Sold

2013 was a banner year for the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division as ticket sales topped 100,000 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, up from 84,000 tickets in 2012.
The Amphitheatre's season began with a sold out show by the legendary Hall and Oates and ended with a performance by Grammy nominated band Alabama Shakes. Other notable sell out shows included Matchbox 20, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent, Bob Dylan, Imagine Dragons, Steely Dan, and The Lumineers. 2014 is already shaping up to be quite a year with Santana, Steve Miller, Fall Out Boy, and The Moody Blues scheduled to perform.
Stay tuned for many more blockbuster announcements in early 2014. For general information, please contact the Box Office at 904.209.0367, or visit the website.

St. Johns River Water Management District Public Meeting

The St. Johns River Water Management District is scheduled to host a public meeting to discuss the draft District Water Supply Plan 2013 from 5 to 7 p.m. on January 30 in the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Auditorium, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine. The meeting will include a presentation at 5:30 p.m. in an informal, open-house format. For additional information, please visit the St. Johns River Water Management District Website or contact Steve Fitzgibbons at 386.312.2369 or sfitzgib@sjrwmd.com.

St. Johns River Designated A State Paddling Trail

The St. Johns River is now the state's 48th, and longest, Blueway paddling trail. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails Council recently approved an application to recognize the importance of this significant natural resource as an official paddling trail.


Not only will this designation assist with future State grant applications, but paddling trails also raise environmental awareness, create a sense of place, promote good health through outdoor recreation, and increase nature-based tourism to help boost economic growth for communities adjoined to the blueway. The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to support this initiative presented by the St. Johns River Alliance. For additional information, contact the St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department at 904.209.0324.

St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Kayak Tours 

AyoLane Halusky, St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department Naturalist, periodically hosts educational kayak paddles on Trout Creek and other local waterways. Participants can bring their own kayak, paddle, PFD, and join the group for kayak paddle instruction prior to the start of the journey. The fee is $20 per person for those who bring their own boat, or participants can reserve a tandem or single kayak for $40 per person. For additional information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or email ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

St. Johns Reads Hosts Rick Smith and "A Land Remembered"

In conjunction with the St. Johns Reads program, the Public Library System is pleased to welcome author Patrick Smith's son Rick Smith to St. Augustine where he will share a multi-media presentation of his father's award-winning Florida classic "A Land Remembered."


Smith will present an afternoon of sensory delight, incorporating video clips, photos, paintings, and music that will transport you to another place and time in Florida history at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 22 at the St. Johns County Administration Building, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine. The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a reception and light refreshments. Please call 904.827.6925 or visit the library website for additional information.

Fire Rescue Home Safety Visits and Free Smoke Alarms

In an effort to reduce injuries or fatalities in residential fires, St. Johns County Fire Rescue has initiated a public outreach program that will provide residents with smoke alarms and home safety visits upon request. This service will be provided at no charge in an effort to increase awareness and safety in our community. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms be installed on each floor of the home, living areas, inside bedrooms, and directly outside all sleeping areas. Alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed twice a year. If you are in need of a smoke alarm or a home safety visit, please contact St. Johns County Fire Rescue at 904.209.0340 or aland@sjcfl.us to determine eligibility.

Vilano Beach Main Street Program Wins State Awards

The Vilano Beach Main Street Program was recently honored with several awards at the 2013 Florida Main Street Conference in Vilano Beach.
Vivian Browning, President of Vilano Beach Main Street, received a Merit Award for the category "Outstanding Local Florida Main Street Supporter." Additionally, two Honor Award achievements were presented to Vilano Beach Main Street for the categories of "Outstanding Florida Main Street Special Event," recognizing the Plastic Bottle Boat Race, and "Outstanding Florida Main Street Public-Private Partnership," recognizing the Magic Beach Motel. The Public-Private Partnership award was collectively given to Vilano Beach Main Street, St. Johns County, North Shores Improvement Board, North Shores Corridor Design Review Board, Harry Scherwinski, and Les Thomas.
The awards program encourages and acknowledges local Main Street program accomplishments that advance the goals of the Florida Main Street Program. Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources Bureau of Historic Preservation that aims to identify, evaluate, and preserve Florida's historic resources.

Beach Services Hiring Seasonal Beach Toll Attendants

St. Johns County Beach Services is accepting applications for seasonal beach toll attendant positions through 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 24. Interested candidates can obtain applications between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the Beach Services Office, 901 Pope Road, St. Augustine. Beach toll attendants are hired on a seasonal basis and serve part-time from late February through September. For more information, please contact Sonia Colyer at scolyer@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0752.

Spring Horseshoe League Registration

The St. Johns County Recreation and Parks Department will hold the annual Horseshoe Spring League registration and open courts from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 29 at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds, 5840 SR 207, Elkton. Registration is required for all teams and individuals who wish to be placed on a sub list. The 2014 season begins Wednesday, February 5 and will last approximately ten weeks. Registration is $20 per individual plus a $5 weekly player's fee, and is open to anyone 18 years or older. For more information, please contact Joe Shakar at jshakar@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0385 or Greg Mills at ggm69@comcast.net.

St. Johns County Agricultural Community Honored with Exhibit

St. Johns County's rich and diverse agricultural community will be honored at the County Administration building this spring with a display of historic art, tools, and farming equipment that will also mark the 25th Anniversary of the County's Agricultural Center. The exhibit will officially open to the public on February 4 and will remain on display through April 25 during standard business hours at 500 San Sebastian View. Located at the Agricultural Center, the St. Johns County Cooperative Extension Service conducts research-based educational programs in agriculture, horticulture, family and consumer sciences, marine interest, and 4-H youth development. For more information regarding the display or the Agricultural Center, please call 904.209.0430.

Main Library Closed Feb. 17 - April for Renovations 

The St. Johns County Main Branch Library will be closed February 17 through April for a number of significant renovations to include a complete update of the restroom facilities and the addition of an adult reading area. Patrons are encouraged to visit one of the other library branches during this time or enjoy the Library's many online services including an extensive collection of eBooks, informational databases, and children's games. The St. Johns County Public Library System thanks patrons for their patience and understanding during the renovation period. For additional information, please call 904.827.6940 or visit the library website.

St. Johns County President's Day Holiday Hours

All administrative departments of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, the St. Johns County Library system, and the Pet Center will be closed February 17 in observance of President's Day. Please visit www.sjcfl.us for information regarding the scale houses, garbage, recycling, and yard debris collection for each holiday.

Thank you for your interest in St. Johns County and District 4. Active residents, a dynamic business community, and a superior quality of life make St. Johns County the best place to live, work, and play.  

Jay Morris

Chair/District 4

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners

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