Town of Havana officials heard on Tuesday, February 28th from resident Ernie Kovacs about a serious problem with storm water management at his home.
Kovacs said he had moved to Havana fifteen years ago, and the previous owner said there were no issues with the property. The home is not in the flood plain, he said. He added that he'd approached the town several times during a previous town manager's period in office, with no assistance received. At that time, he said, a town-wide storm water plan was in place.
"All of the water from 2nd Street NE and 5th Street NE flows into my back yard. I have been seeing other water issues fixed, but not mine," he said.
Town crews later put in an undersized pipe and resurfaced it. Now (to fix it), it would have to get the street redone. I get flooded (every time it rains)," said Kovacs.
Havana Mayor T.J. Davis asked Kovacs to meet with Town Manager Howard McKinnon and the mayor about the issue.
Wendy Adams came before the council on behalf of the Havana Garden Club to update the town about their work in Community Park, placing an educational garden with perennials and a butterfly garden. They have already planted shrubs around the gazebo, she said.
Wendy added that vandalism has become a big problem at the park, with young people pulling up pipes and trying to take gravel home from the project. Cigarette butts are also all around the gazebo, she said.
Havana Police Chief Tracy Smith said officers have stepped up patrols around the park to keep a better eye on it. Signage will be added that states the park closes at dark. "It's beautiful what they've accomplished!" said Chief Smith.
Mayor Davis said vandalism is an ongoing problem for many communities.
Chief Smith also said there are several options of activities that can keep teens occupied so they are not so likely to cause havoc: Boys & Girls Club, recreational baseball and basketball, etc. "We want the garden club to continue their beautification work!" said the chief.
Desiree Gorman of the Tallahassee Community College's TCC Gadsden Center came before the council to present programs in action at the facility. She said the college center has changed focus from its beginnings as being after-school programs to college level options. Some 18 people of ages 18 to 50 have signed up for and are involved with getting a GED and another 20 people are studying English as a second language in ESOL.
The facility is also offering training in HVAC with 13 people signed up. Law enforcement and corrections classes are also offered, she said.
"Anything that they can do at the main campus in Tallahassee, they can do at TCC Gadsden Center!" said Gorman. She added that transportation issues continue to be a problem.
Computer and entrepreneurial classes are also offered. "We make things very easy to do what they could do at the main campus in Tallahassee," she said.
The college center also holds small business workshops and are growing, looking for ideas. "The computer lab is open to the whole community no matter their age. It's a free application to use for job searches and other things. All are offered on-site," said Gorman.