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Volusia council to consider beach ordinance
The Volusia County Council will consider a proposed ordinance change to increase beach vehicular access fees at 9:05 a.m. at its Jan. 22 meeting in the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand.

Members discussed the issue during its Jan. 8 meeting and instructed staff to draft an ordinance that would simplify the fee structure and increase daily fees from $5 to $10, resident annual beach passes from $20 to $25, and nonresident annual passes from $40 to $100.

At the same time, the County Council will consider a resolution to increase the daily fee at Lighthouse Point Park and Smyrna Dunes Park from $5 to $10. The annual park pass would remain at $20.

Super passes, twilight passes and free re-entry for people with daily passes would be eliminated.

The fees, which are collected from Feb. 1 through Nov. 30, have remained unchanged since 1993, while costs to maintain and protect the beach have increased to $10.5 million a year.

Beach vehicle access fee revenues currently bring in $2.6 million a year. It’s expected that revenues would increase to $4.2 million under the proposed rates, reducing the burden on taxpayers.

According to county officials, $2 of each daily pass will go toward beach-related capital projects.

If passed, the ordinance would take effect almost immediately.

Halifax Health – Hospice seeking volunteers
Halifax Health – Hospice is looking for caring, supportive and dedicated volunteers to provide help in patients’ homes, at Care Centers as well as programs and events.

If interested, contact Stephanie.Sparks@halifax.org  or call  386-322-4701 ext. 6127.

Parkinson’s group to focus on laughter
Learn how to “stay alive for the rest of your life” during a free program at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the Daytona Beach Regional Library at City Island, 105 E. Magnolia Ave.

Motivational humorists Peg and George Goldtrap will take a practical and humorous look at the day-to-day challenges faced by people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.

The program is sponsored by the Parkinson’s Association of Greater Daytona Beach and the Friends of the Daytona Beach Library.

Reservations are required and may be made by calling 386-676-6375 by Jan. 26.

Cultural Council schedules workshops for grant applicants
The Cultural Council of Volusia County will conduct two workshops in January for organizations wishing to apply for a Volusia County Community Cultural Grant.

The workshops will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the second-floor training room of the Volusia County Historic Courthouse, 125 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand; and 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, in the third-floor conference room of the Volusia County Lifeguard Headquarters and Administration Center, 515 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

The Community Cultural Grant provides general operating support to nonprofit organizations in Volusia County that have as their primary mission the delivery of cultural or heritage-based programs to the public. In 2014, more than $611,000 was awarded to 33 organizations.

Applications must submitted online by 5 p.m. Friday, April 10. On May 27, the Cultural Council will review and score the grant applications to provide recommendations to the Volusia County Council.

For more information, contact Cultural Coordinator Mike Fincher at mfincher@volusia.org or 386-736-5953, ext. 15872.

COAD to review disaster resources next week
Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County, 1845 Holsonback Drive, room 516-C, Daytona Beach. The public is invited.

A representative from the Florida Catholic Conference will provide information about the group’s disaster resource capabilities. Also, COAD co-chairs Deanie Lowe and Frank Bruno Jr. will report on Volusia COAD’s activities since its inception in August 2013.

COAD is a multi-agency group that assists local governments in organizing and deploying volunteers and resources in response to the unmet needs of local disaster survivors. Membership is open to individuals, faith-based groups, government agencies, civic clubs, volunteer organizations, social service agencies, business people and emergency management personnel.

For more information, visit www.volusiacoad.org.

Palm Coast AACS to announce board members
The African American Cultural Society (AACS) will hold a general meeting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the African American Cultural Society Center, 4422 US Highway 1 North.

The Election Committee will announce results of membership voting to fill three positions on the board of directors.

Free morning refreshments will be available to all who arrive early at 10:30 a.m.

For information, call 386-447-7030. For membership details, call Jean Tanner at 386-445-8403.

Mentors needed for teens in foster care
Community Partnership for Children is recruiting mentors for teenagers in foster care. To learn about this program, register for the next orientation class.

The orientation is Tuesday, Jan. 20, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Community Partnership for Children, 135 Executive Circle, Daytona Beach.

To register, contact Susan Hiltz at 386-547-2293 or via email at Susan.Hiltz@cbcvf.org.

Port Orange ranked one of the safest cities in state
The city of Port Orange has been ranked the second-safest big city in the state. The consumer research company Value Penguin recently published the results of their “Safest Cities” study that compared a variety of crime metrics across 224 cities in Florida.

Port Orange ranked the second safest among Florida cities with a population over 45,000, and 28th overall. According to the New York City-based Value Penguin, the report “highlights which cities and towns are doing an exceptional job in providing their residents with a safe place to live.”

Mayor Allen Green stated, “The ranking is a compliment to our police department and the officers that serve this great community.”

Added Chief of Police Gerald Monhan, “We are very encouraged by the results of this study and thank the men and women of the Port Orange Police Department and our citizen partners for their efforts in making the city of Port Orange a great place to live, work and raise a family.

For a list of all the rankings in the report, visit www.valuepenguin.com/2014/12/safest-cities-florida-study.

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