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Springs County opens Welcome Center

All photos by Troy Fisher

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Springs County held a ribbon-cutting for its new Welcome Center in High Springs on Sunday afternoon, with a crowd of about 150 people at the event. Congresswoman-elect Kat Cammack was there to add her support to the effort to create Florida’s 68th county from part of western Alachua County. Cammack said, “Springs County represents what we all believe: less government, less taxes, more freedom, more liberty; the right for us, as individuals, to make decisions for ourselves and our families… Springs County is a new idea that will empower people like us to make decisions and really prosper in a way that we haven’t seen in this area in a long time.”

State house representative Chuck Clemons said that although High Springs isn’t in his district, he supports the Springs County effort. He pointed out that the most recent county to be created was Gilchrist County, 95 years ago. He talked about the difference in road quality at the county line between Gilchrist County and Alachua County: “What happens to all the gas tax to pay for roads? Why can our neighbor next door, Gilchrist County, have some of the best roads in north central Florida, and we have some of the worst roads in the state of Florida?… Well, maybe it’s time, after 95 years, to start a new county… I’m for it… Next August, I’ll file a bill in the Florida Legislature that will help to create a brand new county… Bring more people to this movement… You’re gonna have to each reach out and bring someone else.”

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Tim Marden, the leader of the Springs County effort, said the timeline includes an educational effort during the 2021 Legislative Session and a bill in the 2022 Session with an effective date of 2025. The 3-year gap gives the new county time to “stand up all the systems that we need to put in place to make this happen… Symbolically, it will line us up perfectly with the hundred-year anniversary of when Gilchrist County did it last, and ironically, we’re doing it for a lot of the same reasons that Gilchrist County did, just a hundred years later… I think, at some point, Springs County is inevitable. You’re here… at the ground floor.” Marden encouraged attendees to sign the Springs County petition.

After a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the new sign, attendees were able to explore the Welcome Center, purchase Springs County merchandise, and eat a variety of food from local caterers.

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