Find more about Weather in Cedar Key, FL


JULY 24, 2017
On the steps of the Chamber of Commerce,
Commissioner Sue Colson will be available
between 11am and noon to talk with you and answer your questions.
Come by, sit down, have some coffeem and
discuss concerns that you may have regarding the city.
Meet with a commissioner  
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
11 am to noon
Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center
450 Second Street, Cedar Key
 Here is a chance for participants to be better informed
regarding issues in Cedar Key.



July 21, 2017


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Sisters Lily and Zoe Harris from Acworth, Georgia, visiting Cedar Key residents Bill and Patsy Schossler, recently presented the first puppet show at the Cedar Key Public Library.


The brand new puppet theater (assembled by Mike Leiner- thanks, Mike!) along with the puppet tree, full of puppets resembling species children will find around Cedar Key, were provided through the generosity of the Centennial Legacy Grant procured by the Cedar Key Lions Club for the children's room following Hurricane Hermine, which decimated the library.




July 12, 2017
Fearing that some severely leaning, dead, or badly damaged trees would fall upon a gravesite or a strolling visitor’s head, the City of Cedar Key contracted with that Langston Tree Service of Trenton, Florida, to cut them down. The trees in the cemetery area were carefully selected and dead trees and trees that were deemed a potential hazard if they were to fall during a severe storm were tagged for removal.
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Estimates from three tree removal companies were recieved. One of the main concerns in removing trees in the cemetery was not damaging or desturbing the grave sites. This required the use of a large crane which carefully lowered the cut trees and left the cemetery sites intact. The tree stumps were ground down and the area left in good condition. A total of 39 trees were cut and hauled away during the week of July 5, 2017. The planting of new trees in the cemetery is being discussed by the city.
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July 10, 2017
Fifty-seven students in the 2017 Cedar Key School Summer Youth Program spent part of their day today extending their aquaculture/seafood curriculum…and actualizing it.  Indeed, the “best summer youth program ever” was made possible by seven generous Cedar Key boat captains who offered their time, bait, gas, expertise, and boats and some devoted Florida Fish and Wildlife staff members. 
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Bud Collins, Carl Robinson. Denny Voyles, AJ Brown, Stephen Keith, Chad O’Steen, and Mike Allen from the University of Florida’s Nature Coast Biological Station gathered students in groups of four and five.
The seven boats made two fishing trips in order to accommodate the fifty-seven students.  The first  group left the Cedar Key Marina at 9:30 am and returned at about 11 am; the second group left at 12:45 pm and returned at 2:30 pm.
Critical to the success of the day were Florida Fish and Wildlife staff members:  Shannon McAskill, Hannah Healey, and Courtney Stachowiak.  They herded kids, assisted their fishing, and watched over their safety. 

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Makalynn Bowling, a proud fisherperson, declared, “I caught an 18-inch spotted sea trout.”  One of the girls reported that Mr. Voyles’ boat contained some forty fish after the first tour of the day.  Kaitlin Tindall reported catching a 15-inch speckled sea trout and Alexandrea Brown caught a 16-inch spotted sea trout. 
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This day’s event afforded well over half of the 2017 Summer Youth Program students and, in effect, nearly one quarter of the Cedar Key School students, the opportunity to spend part of their day fishing with the experts.


July 11, 2017
Thanks to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s Hannah Healy, many of the 2017 Cedar Key Summer Youth Program students who went fishing Monday, July 10, 2017, knew the essentials of fishing.  From Healey, they had learned fishing basics, the importance of habitats to fish species, proper fish handling and release techniques, and fish identification.
FWC offers its free Nature Coast Fishing for Youth program in Cedar Key for youth between the ages of 5 and 15 this summer.  Programs are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 2 pm, and began June 6 and will extend through July 27, at the Senator George G. Kirkpatrick Marine Laboratory, 11350 SW 153rd Court.
Today, many of those students enjoyed using those skills on six Cedar Key charter boats and one University of Florida boat.  Seven generous boat captains and Healey, and FWC’s Shannon McAskill and Courtney Stachowiak made the day possible for these appreciative, excited students.   

July 8, 2017
The Cedar Key community, pulled together by Cedar Key Vice-Mayor Sue Colson, took incredibly fine care of one hundred Cedar Key area kids this summer for five weeks, from June 12 to July 15, from 7 am to 4 pm, Mondays through Thursdays.  A multi-aged lot were the one hundred:  pre-kindergartners through high school ninth graders attended.
The City of Cedar Key provided basic necessary dollars; the Cedar Key Aquaculture Association’s Rosie Cantwell and Sue and Russ Colson cooked for and fed the hundred grits, corn, clams, shrimp, and more; charter boat captains provided a fishing day for all students; Levy County Migrant Program offered funds and next year will offer a teacher or two; devoted Cedar Key School staff worked for nearly no pay to make the program work well.

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In charge were Cedar Key School staff Telicia Winfield, ably assisted by her husband, Mrs. Patti Shewey, James Custer, and Cedar Key Police Department’s Officer Perry.
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Officer Perry noted, “This is the most organized summer program yet.  I’ve been assisting for five years and this year is the best.  Every single day, except one, students have enjoyed a learning event of some sort:   a guest speaker, a special lunch, a field trip.” He further noted, “Being able to get into an air-conditioned space during the day has been great.”
Best of all, this year, thanks to Principal Josh Slemp’s leadership, students were based in the school’s air conditioned, auditorium.  In past years, the Summer Program has been housed in a very much appreciated but not as perfect a place.   The non-air-conditioned gymnasium, though huge was, after all, not air-conditioned. The Cedar Key Community Center, wonderfully air-conditioned, required dismantling instructional furniture, supplies, projects, and materials for weekend use by others.
This school auditorium allowed students their own places to sit, study, store their personal items, and work.  This venue afforded teachers the ability to display student projects, art work, ongoing assignments, and curriculum-based bulletin boards that reinforce learning.
While based in the auditorium, students and teachers made full use of the gymnasium, playgrounds, and outside areas as well.  Breaks and periods in the auditorium made for healthier, happier, non-overheated kids….not to mention adults.
Each week, the Summer Program plans an active field trip for the students.  The Get Air Trampoline Park had kids jumping in the air.  Roller skating had them racing around in circles.  Chuck E. Cheese saw them shooting hoops. 

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Best of all was the two-day water slide experience on the field at the school.  Two huge air-filled structures were on campus: one for the littler kids to jump in; the other for the larger ones to slide down.  “Nothing could be more fun than this,” said one fifth grader to the News.  “It’s hot this summer; this slide beats the heat!”

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Coordinated by Carl Robinson, of Robinson’s Seafood, seven local charter fishing boats will take the hindered youngsters fishing.   Initially planned for the older students, nothing would do but that every student have the opportunity.  Consequently, the seven captains will take two separate trips to accommodate the groups. 
These captains donate their time, gas, and expertise for these students. 

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The Florida Department of Agriculture Consumer Services and the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom-produced booklet Drive through Florida: Aquaculture and Seafood, a Florida Agriculture Literacy Day Book provided the basic structure to the five-week program. 
The teachers’ and Colson’s intent is to have students learn about the seafoods they eat and the environs in which they are produced.  Students ate alligator, clams, sturgeon, shrimp, blue crab, and mullet. 
With each seafood they learned about, students enjoyed an expert guest speaker.  Bud Collins spoke about blue crabs; Leslie Sturmer spoke about clams; Carl Robinson spoke about mullet.

(We need your help)
Cedar Key Volunteer Fire & Rescue is once again making plans to honor our local men and women who are currently serving in the military with our flag display at the number four bridge. Please note this particular project is for currently serving members. We understand all those who have served, intending to serve or are in the reserves are very important also and maybe some day someone can do a different project to recognize those individuals.
We need to update our list and do not want to leave anyone off. We are asking that anyone who has family or friends currently serving in any branch of the military and who is from the Cedar Key/Rosewood area, contact the fire department with the name of each service member. If you see a name of someone who is no longer in the military, please let us know.
Email info to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., drop off at fire station or city hall, or call 352-543-5192. It’s very important for us to receive this information in the next few days. Please see the list below. Anyone wishing to make a donation to this worth while project to help replace lost, damaged and worn supplies can make a donation to the Cedar Key Fire Department.
We just want to say THANK YOU to all of our service men and women for putting your lives on the line to protect ours. You are constantly in our prayers.
Zack Anderson                 Tyler Anderson                  Montana Beckham
Joseph Bishop                  Nathanael Brinkman         John Henry Collins
Quentin Collins                 Chelsea Colson                 Alan Crews
Jacob Crosby                    Nick Gentry                       Zac Hollifield                    
Rob Ice                             Adam Iovine                      Crystal Jenkins
Larry McCain                    Daniel McCumbers            Ian McNulty
Steven Poole                    Austin Pope                       Jarred Shewey                 
Jerret Westling                 Alex Zografos  

June 6, 2017
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Sue Colson, and Commissioners Dale Register, Royce Nelson, and Nickie Rucker.
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Henry Coulter, Bill Rucker, “Coach,” James Custer, Buddy Coggins, Terry Kite, Barbara Boyd, Michael Hancock, John Blouse, Connie and Mike O’Dell, Pat Tyson, Frank Patillo, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
Resident Henry Coulter, in honor of recently-deceased Thelma McCain, requested permission to construct a 10 by 16-foot shelter behind, north, of the Community Center property to shield those who cook in the area, from the rain and the sun.  Commissioners unanimously approved the request and voted to pay the $114 permit fee.
Commissioner Royce Nelson reported the eroding of the newly repaired Dock Street (C Street) Bridge.  Bridge replacement is scheduled for 2020, he said, and urged the mayor to telephone the Florida Department of Transportation and request action sooner.  Mayor Davis said he would do so.
Purvis, Gray and Company, LLP, Certified Public Accountants with offices in Gainesville, Ocala, Tallahassee, and Sarasota, have been the city’s auditors for years.  This evening, Terry Kite presented the company’s “Financial Statements and Independent Auditors’ Reports” for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. 
All funds and transactions were found to be in order.  Contained within the report is the Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency debt which is currently being paid within the dictates of the contract with SunTrust Bank.    Copies of the audit report are available at City Hall.
Pat Tyson of 626 Second Street requested a license to extend his front porch or front porch steps into the public property in front of his house.  Commissioners directed him to return with a survey by a registered surveyor and drawings showing the existing building and proposed addition. The drawings should show the building setbacks from the property line and street and the encroachment of the new addition into the city street right-of-way.
Public Works Director Bill Crandley presented suggestions regarding how fees might be structured for the newly installed electric and water meters at the five outside Marina kiosks.  After some discussion, commissioners voted to charge the leasers the amount registered on the meter monthly.  
Brought forward by Fire Chief Robert Robinson because of a fire aboard a houseboat docked in Cedar Key, commissioners discussed their stance on “live-aboards.”  Robinson pointed out the dangers of attempting to put out a fire when access to the fire is limited to a three-foot walkway; no access to the sides or the opposite end of the boat exists, limiting his effectiveness. And increasing the danger to the fire fighters.
Nelson reported that he knew of two live-aboards, both of whom have sewer access directly with the Cedar Key Water Sewer District.  Other commissioners reported more, five or six, live-aboards about town.  No mention of their sewage arrangements was made.
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson reminded commissioners that the Clean Marina designation requires that certain standards be met and live-aboards are not part of them.
Commissioners decided to send the live-aboard matter to the Cedar Key Land Planning Agency to resolve the contradictions in the Laws of Cedar Key that address it.  Some language reads live-aboards are legal if they abide by a stringent set of rules; others are far broader.

June 8, 2017
WHAT?  The 2017 Tri-County Community Health Survey
WHEN?  from May 25 through July 28
WHO? Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy County community members
WHY? Survey results, along with research and health related data,
will be used to assess the counties’ most pressing health needs.
JUN 8 2017TriCountyCommunityHealthSurvey FlyerMay25 July28

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June 1, 2014
Ever aware of the hazards of island living, and particularly during hurricane season, Cedar Key Emergency Director / Fire Chief Robert Robinson organized and orchestrated Cedar Key’s Hurricane Awareness / Hazardous Waste Day on Thursday, May 25.  Robinson’s goals were to provide a plethora of practical, helpful emergency planning information and a place to discard all household hazardous waste, all in one easy-to-get-to location.   And, in keeping with the Chief’s ways, that is exactly what he did.
Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, all Cedar Key commissioners, and more than one two hundred and residents’ availed themselves of the services offered at the Cedar Key Community Center.
Police Chief Virgil Sandlin designed different reentry passes for residents, businesses, employees, and volunteers.  With the assistance of Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, the passes were disseminated.
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Cedar Key Water and Sewer District General Manager John McPherson met with residents, presented his “Hurricane Preparedness Guide,” and talked about Cedar Key’s water and sewer utilities before, during, and after storms.  Click here to access this important material:

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The American Red Cross’s Bianca Esprit and her able assistant, Sibyl Jose, provided hurricane safety checklists, volunteer opportunities, common home fire prevention, and more. 
Levy Emergency Medical Technician Jason Matchett explained to visitors the Vail of Life Program which encourages people to place critical emergency health information in one place in their homes for quick access by EEMTs.  Matchett also spoke in detail about the Ready, Set, Go Program, on fire preparedness. 
The Florida Department of Health was present offering a multitude of programs designed to improve and maintain health ranging from diabetes prevention to Medicaid outreach.
Central Florida Electrical Cooperative Representative Ryan Watson demonstrated the dangers of downed power lines and the hazards to those who attempt to rescue individuals near those lines.  Watson’s interactive display showed how quickly and lethally current travels.  Watson is available to talk to appropriate groups and may be reached at the Chiefland CFEC office.
Levy County Animal Services provided important information about pets, advising: if you evacuate, take your pet, remember pet records and identification, and find a pet-friendly place to go beforehand; if you do not evacuate, keep your pet leashed, prepare enough food and particularly water, and much more.  Levy County Animal Services operates an Emergency Pet Shelter at 12055 NE 69 Lane, Bronson, located at the Levy County Landfill.
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The Cedar Key Woman’s Club offered laborers and visitors hot dogs, lemonade, and brownies, cookies, and other assorted desserts.  Susan Rosenthal, Jan Hendrix, Rosemary Denisi, Eileen Senecal, and Chris Black, served the crews.
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While the events inside of the Community Center focused upon hurricane preparedness, Cedar Key Public Works staff worked outside the Center where residents disposed of paints, poisons, adhesives, insecticides, batteries, aerosol cans, and a host of other unneeded household waste materials.
According to Commissioner Sue Colson, hazardous waste collection is required by ordinance.  Years ago, Cedar Key commissioners decided that while collecting waste, they would use the opportunity for residents also to gather the latest hurricane information.  To ease access and increase community participation, they moved the event from the Community Center on Seventh Street to the Firehouse downtown.  Hence, Cedar Key’s Annual Drive-In Hurricane Day and Household Hazardous Waste Day commenced. 
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The Hurricane Awareness and Hazardous Waste Day requires careful planning, coordination, and, most of all, dedication, to the safety and welfare of the area’s citizenry.  The city, Robinson, Sandlin, Colson, Sharp, Crandley, Hathcock, Hodge, McPherson, and the Levy County   individuals, many of whom were volunteers, deserve our thanks.  




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May 17, 2017
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, May 17, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Commissioners Dale Register and Royce Nelson, newly re-elected Heath Davis and Sue Colson, and newly elected Nickie Rucker.
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, Doris  Hellerman, Jenny Pinto, Nik and Jim Mason, Ed Butler, Wynne Simpson, Michael Hancock, Nin and Dan Garrett, John Caddigan, Chris Ford, Peggy Herrick, Bill Rucker, Don Campbell, Joe and Kerri Catalano, Don Fox, Molly Jubitz, Sharu Sandlin, Rick Viele, Kay Probst, Mac and Nita Cox, Andrew Gude, Susie Horner, Beth Mizell, Chris Reynolds, Linda Seyfert, Doug Maple, Doug Tilgen, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
To reference the agenda and commission package for this meeting, click on the following link:    CommAgendaPkt_16May2017
In the City of Cedar Key, commissioners serve for two-year terms.  Each year, elections are conducted for two or three open seats which alternate ensuring continuity. 
This year, three seats were open:  Heath Davis in Seat One, Diana Topping Vacated Seat Three, and Sue Colson in Seat Five.  Davis and Colson ran unopposed.  Seat Three was vied for by candidates Chris Topping and Nicki Rucker; Rucker won the election, 178 to 33.
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Annually, the reseated and newly seated commissioners swear the Oath of Office; as did Davis, Colson, and Rucker this meeting.
So, too, must the new commission elect a mayor and vice mayor from amongst themselves.  Heath Davis was elected mayor in a 5 to 0 vote conducted by City Clerk Nicole Gill; Sue Colson was elected vice-mayor in a 5 to 0 vote conducted by Mayor Davis.
Department heads are rehired each year upon the seating of new commissioners.  The following department heads were rehired in 5 to 0 votes: City Attorney Norm Fugate, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Director Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, City Clerk Nicole Gill.  Police Chief Virgil Sandlin was rehired in a 3 to 2 vote:  Colson, Register, and Rucker voted yea; Davis and Nelson voted nay.
On Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 1 pm, a memorial ceremony for Marine Brian Buesing will take place at the Cedar Key Cemetery.  Buesing was the first Iraq casualty from Cedar Key.  The public is invited to attend the memorial.
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson reported that the Summer Youth Program is planned with an exciting curriculum reflective of Cedar Key Aquaculture and featuring UF Nature Coast Biological Station and US Fish and Wildlife personnel.
Colson reported that the program remains in need of funds.  Anyone wishing to donate any amount may drop it off at City Hal.
Click here for more information about the summer youth program: 
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson announced that on Thursday, May 25, is Cedar Hurricane Preparedness / Hazardous Waste Day.  From 9am to 1pm, county agencies will be present in the Community Center with information and advice on hurricane preparedness while city personnel will be available to take your household hazardous materials and dispose of them properly.  Such proper disposal eliminates the possibility of these paint cans, oils, pesticides, etc. from landing in front yards or floating into Cedar Key’s clean waters.

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May 10, 2017
The Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board conducted its regular monthly meeting in Cedar Key at the Community Center this past Thursday and Friday, May 4 and 5, 2017. 
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Seven of the nine-member SRWMD Governing Board were in attendance: Chair Donald J. Quincey, Jr., Vice Chair Alphonas Alexander, Secretary/Treasurer Virginia H. Johns, Kevin W. Brown, Gary F. Jones, Virginia Sanchez, and Charles Keith.  
Some forty-five audience members, some of whom were staffers, filled the Community Center seats.  Included within the group were newly elected Cedar Key City Commissioner Nickie Rucker, Mayor Heath Davis, and Commissioner Sue Colson.   In past years, both Davis and Colson served on the SRWMD Board. 
Though the Board member’s agendas were lengthy and complex, the Public Comment section of the agenda gave the Cedar Key community the opportunity to thank the SRWMD Board and its personnel for its most significant initiatives and assistance to the Cedar Key area.
Mayor Davis welcomed the group, as did Colson and the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District General Manager John McPherson.  Either stated directly or alluded to by these individuals and the Cedar Key area residents, either at the microphone or in conversations throughout the day, were the following ways in which the Suwannee River Water Management District has helped the Cedar Key area. 
  • Purchased Atsena Otie when threatened to be divided up, sold into lots, and developed into housing. Now the island is part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and available to the public for recreation. 
  • Purchased and maintains the 200-plus-acre Lukens Tract, just north of Cedar Key, to protect water quality and conservation land.  The area was slated to be developed into a planned-unit development.  It is now available to the public for recreational purposes. 
  • In 2016-2017, helped study and plan alternatives in Cedar Key’s “Living Shorelines” efforts, which involves:  stopping eroding shoreline along G Street and Airport Road and shoreline restoration at Joe Rains Beach on Eighth and H Streets. 
  • Revamped Cedar Key’s non-working stormwater system, redesigned it, and fixed it.
  • Helped Cedar Key decommission its residential septic tanks and placed remaining residents’ homes on our Cedar Key Water Sewer District system, thus leaving the area water clean and safe for aquaculture and other activities.
  • With all the SRWMD activities, they have:  kept our area pristine, kept it safe for aquaculture and naturalist activities, such a birding, kayaking, fishing, etc.
  • Offered to the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District $80,000 in RIVER funds for moving the wastewater lines off Bridges 1, 2 and 3.  The District is required to match this amount, and we have been approved for the match under the RESTORE Act program, but those funds have been held up.
  • Is considering a request by the Cedar Key Water Sewer District to provide funding under the RIVER program to help with the costs of digging a deep well at the water treatment plant.
  • In 2013 the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District received a RIVER grant from SRWMD to do a groundwater study at the CKWSD’s water treatment plant.
  • Assisted the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District with implementing a reclaimed water system for irrigating the city park in 2008.
  • Has provided technical assistance, personnel visits, advice, and consultation with its accessible, responsive staff.




May 9, 2017
While visiting Cedar key to conduct its May Governing Board meeting, the Suwannee River Water Management District staff boarded George Oakley-provided golf carts and rumbled off on a field trip led by Cedar Key Commissioner Sue Colson. 

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The seven carts carrying both SRWMD Governing Board Members and staff traveled to three stops:  the ever-eroding G Street; Joe Rains Beach at H and Eighth Streets; and Cemetery Point Park.  Executive Director Noah Valenstein, Division of Administration and Operations Chief of Staff Roary Snider, Division of Water Supply Director Carlos Herd, Agricultural and Environmental Projects Director Darrell Smith, Policy and Planning Director Leslie Ames, Chief Financial Officer Pam Shaw, and others saw firsthand the results of the District’s efforts. 
The critical nature of the G Street erosion was meticulously explained by the University of Florida’s Dr. Mark Clark, Extension Specialist, Wetlands and Water Quality Associate Professor, Soil and Water Science Department.   Clark then presented the shoreline restoration success occurring at Joe Rains Beach at Eighth and H Streets.  There SRWMD personnel walked the beach and the baffles for a close look at the project at low tide. 
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The trip’s last stop was Cemetery Point Park where the group was greeted by Refuge Manager Andrew Gude, Friends of the Lower Suwannee River and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges President Russ Hall, and other Friends members. Iced tea, cheese, and crackers were appreciated by all. 

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At the Park, District staff saw its efforts actualized in planning environmentally appropriate kayak landings, terraced fishing access areas, actualized signage suggestions, and the Earl Starnes Overlook which panoramically oversees the waters east of the Cemetery Point Park and State Road 24.  Those waters in the care of the Cedar Key–based Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy.    
Due to the blusteriness of the day and the strong suspicion of rain, the planned Tidewater Tour boat ride offered by the Friends of the Refuges could not occur.   District staff said that they would be happy to come back, anytime, for that boat ride. 







May 6, 2017 



The Cedar Key Historical Society is looking for a few local volunteer docents for our 1-4 pm afternoons at the museum.  We are located on the corner of Second and D Streets and are open seven days a week.  Since we are relying on volunteers, we are hoping that many hands will make light work.  You will be trained by the Dr. John Andrews (Cedar Key native and local authority on Cedar Key History) and the Executive Director. 

 The position of docent is offered to local people and off islanders who have a history or sense of belonging to Cedar Key.  Many older families have stories to tell our visitors who come from as far away as Europe.  Other visitors in the winter are from the northern states and Canada.  In the summer, we get a lot of people from Southern Florida, here to catch a nice Gulf breeze.  

Additionally, please join us for an exciting upcoming season with a Sierra Club sponsored John Muir celebration on the 150th anniversary of his walk to Cedar Key.  We also give tours to clubs and school children. 

This is an equal opportunity offer.  Please call Amy Gernhardt, 352-543-5549 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to apply.  





Cedar Key City Commission
02 MAY 2017

April 25, 2017

The Levy County Board of County Commissioners has enacted Emergency Declaration 2017-018 and Emergency Order 2017-019 establishing a burn ban throughout the unincorporated areas of Levy County. This is an executive emergency order due to the extreme dry conditions that affect our county. Levy County has suffered massive losses in the past from unintentional fires caused by unattended or irresponsibly set fires.

DO NOT burn yard debris, trash or other unwanted items around your homes during this time.  Due to these current conditions, fires will rapidly spread out of control and could endanger lives. 

This Emergency Order establishes this violation is a second-degree misdemeanor pursuant to Section 252.50, Florida Statutes.

Anyone having questions are asked to contact the Division of Forestry at 352-493-6060.

Posted By Lt. Scott Tummond to Levy County Sheriff's Star at 4/25/2017 11:13:00 AM



May 1, 2017

MAY 1 DEVERIN 1 IMG 0057You may have noticed the new "Cedar Key Recycles" MAY 1 DEVERIN 2 IMG 0063 2sign on Route 24 when coming into our City.  Several weeks ago, Pat and Tom Deverin's son Jim, daughter-in-law Dorothy, and grandsons Thomas and Jack visited Cedar Key during Spring break.  Jack, age 14, wanted to do a community service project to fulfill school requirements while visiting Cedar Key.  With artist skills, he decided to construct, paint, and install the new Cedar Key Recycles sign.



  The former sign, which was installed by the Energy Advisory Panel over six years ago, had been swept away by Hermine.  The E A P was a small group of folks that worked to have curbside recycling along with several other programs, all intended to educate, facilitate, and encourage our local government, business, households, and visitors to reduce their carbon footprint.  As planned, once goals were achieved, the group disbanded.

So, thanks to Jack Deverin, everyone who drives into Cedar Key will once again know that Cedar Key recycles.




April 28, 2017

 Notice for City of Cedar Key Voters 1



27 April 2017
Voting is a right.
The right to vote and have that vote counted should not be infringed upon in any way. Everyone has a right to have his/her vote honestly registered and counted.
The system, in most states, requires the voter to provide proof of legal residency when initially registering to vote; these states may not require proof of legal residency when changing a voting precinct from one county to another. This is left up to the honesty and integrity of the individual requesting the change.
In the interest of providing information to an informed electorate, the Cedar Key News has studied both candidates competing in the upcoming City of Cedar Key Commission election which will occur on May 2, 2017, when voters will be asked to vote for Nickie Rucker or Chris Topping.  Cedar Key News research finds a conflict between establishing legal residency and qualifying to run for city commission by Chris Topping.
The Laws of Cedar Key state that: 2.03.00. ELIGIBILITY
Each candidate for a seat must be a qualified voter who is a resident of the city for at least six months prior to the date the person qualifies to run for office.
Each commissioner and the mayor shall continuously reside within the city during their terms of office.
The intent of this Cedar Key Law was and still is, to ensure that elected officials representing the citizens of Cedar Key live in the city and not outside the city limits.
The terms “resident” and “reside” are not just words to be twisted and used to the advantage of absentee land owners. They are used to protect the citizens of Cedar Key from those who do not live here from seeking office and voting for regulations or ordinances that may not necessarily be in the best interest of the citizens.
The form used by the city is an official form called: OATH OF CANDIDATE (section 99.021, Florida Statutes.) By signing this form, the applicant is swearing that he qualifies for the office, not just by state and county regulations but also by the City of Cedar Key ordinances.
The city’s responsibility, when accepting this form, is not to the validity of the answers but to see that the form has been properly filled out. A form filled in with a P.O. Box in lieu of a person’s address, cannot be considered a properly filled out form.
The city’s responsibility should not end here. Applicants for the city commission should provide proof of their six-month residency prior to the qualifying date.
When the application form asks for an address, it means the actual address where the applicant resides, continuously, with his or her family. It doesn’t mean, a business address, a P.O. Box, an address of a recently sold house, or the address of a house still under construction.
Candidates seeking city office, and using a questionable address to establish residency, may consider this proper and ethical.
Some people may be fooled or not consider this as important. In a small town like Cedar Key, not everyone is fooled and many people think it is important.

April 18, 2017
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Dale Register, and Commissioners Sue Colson, Royce Nelson, and Diana Topping.
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, City Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Jenny Pinto, Ed and Sherry Butler, Steve, and Jan Stackhouse, Sandy and Bill Heckler, Nickie Rucker, Susan Rosenthal, Caryn Stephenson, Doug Maple, Linda Dale, Michael Hancock, Jim Wortham, John Palasic, Andrew Gude, Maggie and Dana Funchion, Mac Cox, Joe Allen, Chris Topping, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
Commissioner Sue Colson announced that Cedar Key Hazardous Waste and Hurricane Preparedness Day is May 25, 2017.  Specific details will be announced soon, she advised.
Commissioner Sue Colson announced that the SRWMD will conduct its May 4 meeting here in Cedar Key at the Community Center.  She invited the public to attend and to speak to the board if they wished.  Colson requested dollars to provide coffee for the group; Mayor Heath Davis approved the expense. 
Commissioner Sue Colson also announced the Cedar Key Summer Youth Program.  The program this year will focus on aquaculture and will involve the UF Institute for Food and Agriculture Sciences and other local organizations.   The five-week program begins June 12.  She requested donations.  Click here for more information.  
Police Chief Virgil Sandlin encouraged the audience to participate in the Drug Take-Back Program at Old City Hall from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, April 29.  The program is intended to gather unneeded and unused prescription drugs and dispose of them properly by incinerating.  Click here for more information:
Police Chief Sandlin requested that the launch fees be waived for the May 8-9 wounded warriors visit to Cedar Key.  Commissioners granted the request.
Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges Manager Andrew Gude reported that with the abandonment of Seahorse Key nesting colony, they are considering temporarily opening the waters around Seahorse Key this season. The beaches will remain closed until June 30 th. Gude said that they will also be considering how to better protect the birds out at Snake Key as many birds have moved there from Seahorse Key.
Mayor Heath Davis presented Diana Topping with a certificate of appreciation for her service as a commissioner during the last two years.
Commissioner Sue Colson requested approval to move forward on a United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and grant to three-dimensionally scan additional parts of Cedar Key. The scan will reproduce an image of the exterior and elevations of the existing buildings. The imaging would be helpful in reconstructing Cedar Key to its original look should it be destroyed by hurricanes, sea-level rise, or the like.
 Currently, the city has a 3-D scan of Second Street; it resulted from the studies involved in its 2016 Think Water, Think Cedar Key Program and is available for viewing at the Chamber of Commerce.  The new grant would be written by a UF professor and require no matching funds from the city.  Commissioners approved her request, 5 to 0.
Colson also requested approval to move forward on another ‘no match’ USDA grant to replace the portable toilets located at C and Dock Streets with a building duplicative of the one recently constructed in the Marina.  Commissioners approved her request, 5 to 0. 
Public Works’ Bill Crandley placed before the commission the status of the existing heavy equipment and some of the options available. The city’s requirements and capabilities of each piece of equipment discussed.Crandley was directed to get prices for repairing or replacing the Gator and to prepare a list showing all the equipment needed to maintain city property and streets. Crandley also announced that the truck has been repaired for about $1500 and will be back in service.

In the past several weeks, the Cedar Key News staff has talked with many Cedar Key residents and listened to their questions regarding the candidates and the upcoming city commission election.
These questions, and others, were posed to the two candidates running for the Cedar Key City Commission in May 2, 2017. From their answers, staff has learned the following information.
  • In responses to various questions about the clamming industry and conflicts with non-clamming residents of Cedar Key, Rucker restates her commitment “to represent all of the people of Cedar Key.” 
  • She believes she knows many of them personally as her family comes from here and has clamming, fishing backgrounds.  She reiterated giving “a voice to everybody.”
  • She believes that while in the realty business in Mid-Florida, she learned many skills that would help her in the commissioner job. 
  • She explained that the reinventing her firm, which required her to listening to people, clearly hearing their concerns, “working with them to change the operation but remain humble and become what the people needed.”  She believes those skills will serve her well on the Cedar Key Commission.
  • Rucker explained that she favors the city’s recent annexation efforts because those living on the Cedar Key side of the Number Four Bridge enjoy the same services as the city’s tax-paying residents enjoy. 
  • She believes that action is fair, “equitable.” 
  • Nickie Rucker believes that she should be a commissioner because she: wants “to be a bigger part” of the city; wants to “influence Cedar Key to change, but not much.”
  • She believes that in “giving back to my community is part of who I am.”
The question most asked regarding Chris Topping was: How can he run for city office if he doesn’t live in the city?
  • When asked where he resides, Topping responded that he has “many houses.” (the residency address provided by Topping to the Levy County Supervisor of Elections is C&M Seafood Inc, 11990 St. Rd. 24)
  • When asked, “Have you been living in the city for the past six months, as required by the Laws of Cedar Key?” Topping responded, “What do you mean by living?”
  • To clarify the question of living, Topping was asked, “Do you sleep there (at the city address) most of the time?” Topping’s response was, “I don’t know about most of the time.”
  • Topping refused to answer any questions regarding his family also living with him at this address.
Other questions asked were regarding clamming and the potential conflict of voting on issues that involved the clamming industry while sitting on the city commission.
  • Asked if he, as commissioner, should be allowed to vote on an item that comes before the commission if it was an issue that he might derive some monetary benefit? Topping expressed seeing nothing wrong with that; he believes that is legal. 
  • Topping states: “I'm here to protect Aquaculture, which in my opinion is the tie that binds all other industries in Cedar Key. I like seeing a commission that puts Aquaculture at the top of its priority list.” 








April 23, 2017
…a note from Roger McDaniels
APR 23 Cedar Lakes Show


HistCoffee April 20xe





Hero of the Month
By Wayne Watson
April 12, 2017
Joseph Kasco works through me at my handyman service. His exploits as of late are exemplary and commendable. He should be made Hero of the Month. I’ve worked with Joseph for eight years now. I’ve always been proud of his fathering and his hardworking ethics. Today he showed his selflessness while risking his life to save someone he didn’t even know.   

TruckAcc WWatson

Around 2:30 today, Russel Brown went unconscious while in his running truck on Second St., forced the accelerator to the floor, and careened through all the porch posts at Tina’s Hair Salon and all but one of the porch posts at Island Arts. The truck was at full throttle, but stuck on the last post. The Street filled with burnt rubber smoke as the tires spun on the concrete. You couldn’t see but 5’ at the scene. 


 accident 2xp

April 7, 2017
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, April 7, 2017, at 6 pm at the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Dale Register, and Commissioners Sue Colson, Royce Nelson, and Diana Topping.
Staff in attendance included: CRA Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, City Clerk Nicole Gill, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker. 
Among those in the audience were: Chris Topping, Michael Hancock, Jim Fleming, Myra Zeigler, Doug Maple, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
No public comment was offered.
Commissioners unanimously approved sending a letter of support for the University of Florida Nature Coast Biological Station as it seeks funding from the Community-University Engagement Awards Program, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
Mayor Davis gave some background to the proposed outside concrete dock by referring to the original contract and saying that today they were going to go continue the discussion and then authorize the work and preparation of the budget amendment. Mayor Davis read from the contract, “we yield to the owner of TRM for recommendations for placement, size, accessibility and mobility.”
 Dock 8992xeDock 8994xe
Commissioner Royce Nelson, president of TRM then updated the others on the concrete docks for the outside Marina. After discussion of the dock sizes and number of docks it was agreed that the existing aluminum dock would be moved to the inside marina and two concrete docks would be put in its place. The existing concrete dock, built last year for the fireworks, will be repaired, and building flaws corrected. The vote to accept the project and proceed was 4 to 0, with Commissioner Nelson abstaining.
Mayor Davis explained that businesses about town have asked of late what they may and may not do regarding acting as transient vendors.  He further explained that the city relies largely on state law. 
For clarity and simplicity, Davis divided the issue into three different groupings of transient vendors.  
  • Service vendors using the city right-of-way.  Golf carts, horse and buggy, Pedi-cabs, etc. must have a license and permit to do business and proof of insurance.
  • Mobile food vendors situated on the city right-of-way.  No vendor may be situated on the city right-of-way.
  • Temporary structures on private property, such as tents, food wagons, etc. These vendors must have a license, business permit, sign permit (if applicable) and a letter of approval from the property owner to conduct business on that property.  The structures, wagons, trailers, etc. must be taken down and removed at the end of every day. Any vendors within the Historic District will be required to get a Certificate of Appropriateness if any part of the enterprise is on the Regulated Work Items list.
One audience members asked about allowing vendors, such as a smokers t0 smoke fish, to set up and sell food on private property during festivals. Chief Sandlin noted that the festivals are for non-profit organizations. School and the other non-profits organizations use the festival venue as one of their few sources to earn money and that would be taking money away from the kids.  A member of the audience then suggested to allow transient vendors on private property during the festivals and require them to give the non-profits a percentage of their profits. The mayor remarked that “that’s a slippery slope . . . a slippery slope.”  No action resulted from the suggestion. 
Commissioners directed Attorney Norm Fugate to “clean up” the language and return it to the commission.  A check list will also be provided and filled out along with the permit applications.



Abigail O’Steen, Valedictorian                Ashlyn Allen, Salutatorian
Cedar Key School’s top students in the class of 2017 are Abigail O’Steen, valedictorian, and Ashlyn Allen, salutatorian. Abigail and Ashlyn have been lifelong Cedar Key Sharks; they began school together in the fall of 2003 when they entered pre-K and have been classmates ever since. Both will speak at the commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on May 20th in the Cedar Key gymnasium.
Principal Joshua Slemp said the valedictorian and salutatorian are selected based on their Florida Academic Scholars grade point average (GPA) throughout high school. This year the decision was a close one, with .03 grade points separating the two candidates.
Abigail is finishing her high school career with a GPA of 3.93. Following graduation, she will be among the first students to attend the new College of Central Florida campus in Chiefland to complete her associate of arts degree. Abigail has been a dual enrollment student through the college and has been receiving both high school and college credits this year.
Ashlyn is graduating with a GPA of 3.90. She recently became the first Cedar Key graduate to ever sign an athletic scholarship. An outstanding softball player, Ashlyn was recruited to pitch for the St. Petersburg College Titans.
Both Abigail and Ashlyn have deep roots and large extended families in Cedar Key and Levy County.
Abigail’s parents are Chad and Joanne O’Steen of Cedar Key, Ronny Jo O’Steen of Cedar Key, and Mark Miller of Chiefland. Abigail’s grandparents are Anne O’Steen of Cedar Key and Jo Frank and Keith Watson of Chiefland.   
Ashlyn’s parents are Jimmy and Cheryl Allen and her maternal grandmother is Rita Baker, all of Cedar Key.