We Want to Be in Charge

Coastal communities are looking to be more than just communities. They want to be in control. The coastal communities of Taylor County are considering incorporation.

Jerry Cawthon, President of the Taylor Coastal Community Association, says, "The idea is you want to control your own destiny and be in charge of your own areas as far as its growth and development is concerned."

There are fewer than 20,000 people in Taylor County including the city of Perry. Some residents of Keaton Beach, Dekle Beach, Cedar Island, and Dark Island say they feel they should be separate, but equal from the more densely populated city of Perry.

Billy Ezell, a Keaton Beach resident, says, "We'll probably have more control of our tax money and how it's spent for improvements at the beaches."

The Taylor Coastal Community Association says its main interest in incorporation is because of many services that are usually difficult to get in the area.

Jerry says, "If we can improve the medical services and response time from Perry down here to Keaton Beach, which from the hospital is 25 to 30 miles, we can improve the medical response time by having something down in this area."

Melvin Parker, a Cedar Island resident, says, "We're also looking forward to maybe being able to get some of the tax back into our communities so we can afford fire trucks, ladder trucks. Right now the county is not able to provide that for our community."

The association has not officially taken their incorporation inquiry to the county commission. There will be a meeting Tuesday night at the sewer and water board building at 7:00.

The Florida League of Cities will be there to answer how much incorporation could cost residents.