County commissioners extend lease agreements with outlying municipalities

The Putnam County Board of Commissioners earlier this week signed off on lease agreements with outlying municipalities to continue offering services in those areas. 

Before voting 4-0 to approve the matter – with Commissioner Tommy Stilwell absent – board members voiced their approval of the agreements, which began in 1995 in Interlachen and 2007 in Crescent City.

“Putnam County, we often talk about, is so spread out,” Commission Chairman Larry Harvey said. “It’s a pleasure to have these offices represented in the west end.”

According to county documents, the county entered into renewed lease agreements with Crescent City and Interlachen last year, but commissioners signed off of them during the board meeting Tuesday. 

The agreement requires the county to pay $2,164.86 per month to occupy 117 N. Summit St. in Crescent City and $2,453.27 per month to occupy 1114 State Road 20 in Interlachen. Lease agreements with both municipalities expire in 2019.

By renting facilities in Interlachen and Crescent City, the county can offer services for the Tax Collector’s, Property Appraiser’s and Clerk of Court’s offices.

Residents living in those outlying areas can take advantage of county services closer to home, rather than having to drive up to 25 miles to Palatka for those same services. 

County Commissioner Bill Pickens – who represents District 1, which includes Crescent City – said it’s difficult for elderly, transportation disadvantaged and other residents to find a way to Palatka.

Having county offices in South Putnam has made many people’s lives more convenient, Pickens said, which is why he supports renewing the lease agreement. 

“I’m very pleased that the county has continued to enter into a lease agreement with the city of Crescent City to house a government complex in Crescent City,” Pickens said. “It’s just an extremely convenient venue for our citizens to deal with their … property taxes and do other government work.”

Clerk of Court Tim Smith informed commissioners the South Putnam Government Complex also doubles as a polling location, which is another reason the county should continue its agreement with the municipalities. 

Smith said he is proud his office provides services to the south and west ends of the county to make people’s lives easier. 

His office doesn’t offer certain domestic violence services in those areas of the county, he said, but it’s for a good reason. 

“We want those individuals … to get to Palatka, where there are more services offered there such as the Lee Conlee House,” Smith said. “I thank you for those lease agreements. They’ve pretty much have stayed the same (since the beginning).”

Palatka Daily News

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