By J.M. Copeland
For Hometown News
The Holly Hill Commission meeting on Jan. 28 was filled with awards and recognition of citizens.
Mayor Roy Johnson recognized the first place winners of the 54th annual Christmas Parade, The Holly Hill K-8 School Highsteppers,. The school also received the second place trophy for the PTSA's Students, Family & Faculty float. The final parade award was presented to the Westside Elementary School Eaglettes Dancers & Diamond Dancers with students attending the meeting to receive their recognition.
The 2013 Employee of the Year, Pat Zuegg, a member of the Holly Hill Police Department, was presented by City Manager James McCroskey and Holly Hill Police Chief Mark Barker.
Chief Barker said Ms. Zuegg had overcome medical absences to persevere in the mission of the department.
"Her work ethic and dedication is a rare quality in the workplace today," Chief Barker said.
During the presentation, Mr. McCroskey made the announcement that Chief Barker would retire from the department at the end of March.
David Rowe, director of the Holly Hill Historical Society, was awarded the 2013 Citizen of the Year award by Mayor Johnson. The mayor thanked Mr. Rowe for his dedication to the city and the way he promotes Holly Hill.
Beth Warren was recognized by the Community Services Director for achieving her associate degree, and firefighter Kyle Zimmerman for earning his bachelor's degree.
The commission started the meeting by voting to move a consent agenda item, the demolition of 123 Highland Ave., to the business agenda.
Chief Building Official Larry Hites classified the abandoned property as a public nuisance with what he described as "serious structural" damage on the roof and flooring. People have been living in the house, which has no water, electricity or heat.
Terri Lynn Elliston Reynolds, the homeowner according to Volusia County Property Appraiser records, did not attend the meeting despite receiving notice. John Burch, who identified himself as someone who remodels homes, asked the commission for an extension while he pursued purchase of the property. Mr. Burch explained to the commission how he hoped to get a contract and remodel the property.
"It's located in a nice neighborhood," Mr. Burch said. "The building is structurally sound except the roof and I would put a tin roof on the building. If given the opportunity, I would love to work with the building office to bring it up to code."
In response to Mr. McCroskey's inquiry as to whether he had a contract at this time, Mr. Burch said he didn't.
Chief Barker said there has been drug activity on the property with three drug arrests as well as a trash issue the city dealt with.
"The folks on Highland Avenue have been extraordinarily patient," he said.
Mr. Burch left the meeting prior to the commission's unanimous vote to continue with the demolition of the property.
The long-awaited reopening of the Daytona Avenue Bridge will be at 4:30 pm Friday, Feb. 7, after three years under construction. City Manager Jim McCroskey said there would be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the event.