Century Approved $3.15 Million Budget 4-1

September 30, 2008

The Town of Century approved a $3.15 million budget Monday afternoon, with one council member voting against it.

“I think that it is not very prudent of us to spend more than we are going to take in,” council President Ann Brooks said, “especially in light of the things that are going on with our economy.”

The balanced $3,154,355 budget does include over $100,000 transferred from a reserve account in order to make it balance.

The budget is just over $191,000 more than last year’s $2.96 million budget.

At Mondays’ final public hearing before approving the budget, just one member of the public spoke.

“If you take it to the people in Century, they will tell you that this budget has gone outrageous,” Leola Robinson told the council, saying that the council spends too much money. “For a little place like Century, I don’t see anything being done.”

The council also voted to keep their property tax millage rate the same at 0.817 mils. That’s equal to $81.17 in tax on a $100,000 piece of property with no exemptions.

The budget takes effect for the next fiscal year, which is October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2009.

County Business Tax Receipts Were Due Tuesday

September 30, 2008

Tuesday was the last day for business owners and practicing professionals to renew their business tax receipts for 2008-2009, according to Tax Collector Janet Holley.

The business tax receipt was previously known at occupational licenses, or more commonly, business licenses

The easiest way to renew the licenses, according to Holley, is only at www.escambiataxcollector.com. Other options are available, such as payment by mail, telephone or in person at any of the five tax collector offices, including Century and Cantonment.

Applications and information for local business tax receipts are available at www.escambiataxcollector.com.If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call the tax collector’s office at 438‑6500, Ext. 252. (TTY users for the hearing impaired call 472‑0031.)

Residents Call For Century To Use County Code Officer

September 30, 2008


The Town of Century should contract with Escambia County to return code enforcement to the town, at least according to the majority of people attending a town hall meeting last night.

Century held the town hall meeting to as they consider the option of either hiring their own code enforcement office or using the county’s officer under contract. The opinions at the meeting were varied, about 90 percent of the approximately 50 people at the meeting indicated they wanted the county enforcement officer policing code violations. Mayor Freddie McCall presented the council will the signatures of nearly 100 more people that support a county officer rather than a town officer.

“I don’t see why we can’t handle our own code and our own code enforcement,” Alfonzie Cottrell said. “We’ve given away everything we’ve got in Century.”

“I think it is time for Century to start doing something themselves,” he said. “We don’t have fire department, police department, hospital…we don’t have anything. We ain’t got nothing. But we got a big old budget…we should table this until we get the money…all we got to do is cut out some that unnecessary spending.”

“I am for the town taking care of its own code enforcement, but I’m also not in favor of spending money that we don’t have,”council President Ann Brooks said, getting a round of applause from the audience.

“If Century does it, we are going to have to hire a code enforcement officer that knows his  laws. He’s got to be the next thing to a lawyer himself,” Mayor Freddie McCall said, explaining that the officer will be required to present his or her cases in court.

“We can’t take a man off the street and give him minimum wages to do this job,” McCall said. “We have to build our community; we have to clean our community up. No businesses want to come now like it is.”

“We’ve got a big old budget, but we ain’t got nothing. Where is the money going?”  Cottrell asked. “We need to find out where the money is going…there’s just too much going on in Century that shouldn’t be going on.”"We would like to have things cleaned up,” Donna Tullis, owner of Odom’s Bar said, specifically addressing a business just south of the state line on Highway 29 that sells used merchandise near the road.. “It’s terrible for their impression of the Sunshine State to be a pile of junk. This first thing they see,” Tullis said. “Just do something, me as  business owner, I need help.”

“It taken Century a long to get where we are right now, a long time,” former mayor Benny Barnes said. “I certainly stand in support of a code enforcement officer being done by the county.”

Barnes said that hiring a town officer would be problematic. “We know one another too well, and there will be a lot of favoritism shown,” he said.

“We are already spending money from our taxes and paying our share for county code enforcement,” Line Showalter told the council.  “We need to get behind our county people and support them”

“I believe we have enough people, have enough pride in their own places, to do all they can to clean it up,” council member Riley said, suggesting that a  friendly letter might be all that it would take to get some people to clean up their property.”

The town will consider its next move toward code enforcement at a future council meeting.

Sandra Slay, Escambia County’s code enforcement manager, was present at Monday night’s meeting, responding to questions from residents. County Administrator Bob McLaughlin was also on hand, but did not speak publicly.

Pictured above: Century Mayor Freddie McCall presents a petition signed by about 100 residents asking for the town of use the county’s code enforcement officer. Pictured below: Just a handful of people raise their hands indicating that they support the Town of Century hiring its own code enforcement officer rather than using a county officer. NorthEscambia.com photo.



Cool Pics: Hot Tree

September 30, 2008


The Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call of burning trees on Arthur Brown Road Monday night.

Firefighters found one large tree and a couple of small trees burning in the yard of a home in the 6200 block of Arthur Brown Road about 9:20 p.m. It was not immediately known how the fires started.

There were no injuries or structure damage.

Pictured above: Embers fall from a large burning tree Monday night in Walnut Hill. Pictured below: Firefighters work to extinguish the tree. NorthEscambia.com exclusive photos.


Miller Votes Against $700 Billion Bailout

September 30, 2008

U.S. Representative Jeff Miller of Florida cast a vote against the massive $700 billion bailout bill on Monday as it failed by a 228-205 vote.

The bill would have allowed the government to purchase failing mortgages and other financial securities.

Miller submitted the following comments about the bill:

Almost two weeks ago the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, sent a three page request to the Congress asking for 700 billion dollars of your money for his friends and former colleagues on Wall Street. The former Chairman of the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also asked the Congress to pass a law ensuring his actions “are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

The Founders of this country set up an ingenious system of government to ensure power was not disproportionately given to one individual. The goal was to avoid tyranny at all costs. Secretary Paulson most likely skipped that class in college and was hoping you had as well. Many wonder how such a poorly structured piece of legislation could even come about in the first place. I wonder how the President approved this as well.

By demanding this bailout money, the Administration attempted to circumvent the legislative process. Moreover, the Administration continues to insist that their way is the only way to avoid an imminent crisis.

Perhaps most stunning, is that the Administration officials responsible for protecting American taxpayers and our free market system were asleep at the switch. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox recently admitted his culpability in this matter and amazingly, the Secretary of the Treasury recently admitted he had seen this crisis coming for nearly a year and just now came to the Congress.

Such large-scale government interference in our markets ensures the correction process will take much longer than it would have otherwise. What would help toward long-term stability is an injection of private capital into economy. We need to establish and maintain low tax rates on capital gains and corporate income, allowing people to invest more of their money and relieving American companies from one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

The Democrats did not care to address the corporate tax rate issue and in fact, their response to the Administration’s bailout plan was just as bad, if not worse. They attempted to allow unions to take over corporate boards of failed companies, let judges rewrite the terms of your mortgage and even set up a slush fund for housing groups that among other things, register Democratic voters. Nowhere did they address one of the fundamental issues that got us into this mess, the implicit government backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to be changed into purely private companies, not government sponsored enterprises with special privileges. They need to pay taxes like everyone else and until they are purely private, they must be prohibited from spending taxpayer money on lobbying the government to ensure their continued existence, despite their failed management and banking practices.

An overwhelming majority of constituents have called, emailed, and written into my office stating their outright opposition to any sort of bailout for corporations that were reckless and irresponsible with their management. Moreover, responsible people who live within their means should not be bearing the burden of bailing out corporations. The American taxpayer deserves better. We must not sacrifice long term freedom for short term financial gain.

One Vehicle Accident In Bratt

September 30, 2008


Authorities responded to a one vehicle accident near Bratt Elementary School Monday night.

The accident was reported about 10:10 near the corner of the school’s property at the intersection of North Highway 99 and Godwin Road. The driver of  a SUV apparently lost control and struck and culvert and street sign before crossing Highway 99 and stopping just off the road.

The driver of the vehicle had already left the scene by the time the Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Atmore Ambulance arrived on the scene.

The accident is still under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Pictured above: The driver of this SUV had already left the scene when emergency personnel arrived across the road from Bratt Elementary School Monday night. NorthEscambia.com photo.

Truth For Youth Bible Publisher Conducting Century Revival

September 29, 2008

Evangelist Tim Todd, president of Revival Fires International, is conducting revival services at Abundant Life Assembly of God in Century.

Services are at 7:00  Monday through Wednesday evenings.

Todd is the publisher/designer of the Truth for Youth New Testament which has been endorsed by Pat Boone, Billy Graham, T.D. Jakes, Art Linkletter, Rod Parsley and many other prominent Christian leaders.

The Truth for Youth will be given to every teenager attending. Abundant Life is located at 8040 North Century Boulevard. For more information, call (850) 256-5227.

Students Of The Month Named At North Escambia Schools

September 29, 2008


The students of the month for Escambia County have been selected. From North Escambia schools, they are:

Bratt Elementary: Lydia G. Smith, second grade; Claudio A. Santander, fifth grade.

Carver/Century K-8: Markayla D. Bradley, fourth grade; Martavious A. Odom, fourth grade.

Molino Park Elementary: Cheyenne R. Gray, fifth grade; Haley D. Brown, fifth grade ; Demarcus J. Dukes, fifth grade; Tasashera L. Granderson, fifth grade.

Ernest Ward Middle School: Charmayne M. Fountain, sixth grade; Courtney A. Weaver, seventh grade.

Northview High School: Luke F. Killam, senior; Jessica M. Mothershed, senior.

The students of the month are awarded certificates from the Escambia Association for Administrators In Education.

Pictured above: Luke Killam (left) and Jessica Mothershed, both seniors at Northview High School, were among the North Escambia students of the month named by the Escambia Association for Administrators in Education. Submitted photo.

Weekend Sports: Northview, Flomaton, Jay, NWE

September 29, 2008

It was a good weekend for most area sports teams, and NorthEscambia.com was there with complete coverage and photos.

For a photo gallery and game wrap from Friday night’s Northview big district win over Holmes County, click here.

For a game story from Flomaton’s huge 57-14 win over Central-Hayneville, click here.

For a game story from Jay’s loss to Port St. Joe, click here.

For a photo gallery and game story from all three NWE football games against East Milton, click here.

Interested in sports? Would you like to join the NorthEscambia.com sports team? Email news@northescambia.com for more information.

Molino’s Panhandle Equine Rescue Seeks Vendors For Horse Adoption Day

September 29, 2008

Panhandle Equine Rescue is looking for vendors and informational groups to participate in a Horse Adoption Day in October.

The event will be held October 25 at the Escambia County Equestrian Center from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Boths can be set up on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to get exposure from the “Barn Bash” crowd that will also be at the facility. Both events will be highly publicized and show draw a lot of people, according to event organizers.

The vendor fee is $43 paid to Escambia County, but anyone that sets up a booth that is not promoting any sales will not be charged a fee. Inside stalls are available, so weather will not be a factor.

If interested, contact Panhandle Equine Rescue at 587-2754.

During Horse Adoption Day on October 25, horses rescued by Panhandle Equine Rescue will be available for adoption, plus there will be many equine related demonstrations and exhibits.

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