Commuting Downtown Gets Tougher On Monday

If you commute in the downtown area, you can look for a construction mess starting Monday morning.  The City of Ocala will be closing Magnolia Avenue between Broadway and Silver Springs Blvd for the Magnolia Avenue Water Main and Service Replacement Project.  Look for the detour signs.  The city says the project should be completed by May 3rd.

Today is good Friday, the day that Christians believe Jesus Christ was put to death by the Romans only to rise from the dead on the first Easter Sunday.  Many churches in the area will hold services today in commemoration of the event.

The Florida Senate is moving closer to a House proposal that would eliminate a requirement that hospitals and other health care facilities show there is a demand for their services before getting licensed to build or expand.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill Thursday that would eliminate the certificates of need for the facilities in two years.  Critics of the compromise say it will hurt small hospitals that treat poor patients.

The way it looks now, we’ll be having another one of those sales tax holidays on hurricane supplies and school supplies.  A bill approving the holidays is now on the senate floor for consideration.  May 31st through June 6th would be the hurricane supply tax holiday.   For school supplies the dates would be August 2nd through the 4th.

She’s 65 years old and you don’t want to mess with her.  Just ask Antonio Mosley who is now in the Alachua County Jail.  Clarese Gainey watched as Mosley was trying to break into her car.  That’s when the 65 year old took a baseball bat and used Mosley for batting practice.  When hit, Mosley took off but was captured a short time later, identified by the woman because of the big knot on his head. Said the senior citizen, he’s lucky I didn’t have a gun or I would have shot him.

The Marion County School Board Thursday agreed to suspend impact fees.  It’s the 9th straight year the board has agreed to suspend the fees on new residential construction.  The impact fees are used for new school construction but the district noted that birth rates in the area have remained flat.  The district first suspended impact fees during the housing crash.

While home sales in most parts of the country ebbs and flows, sales in The Villages continues to boom, seemingly immune to economic trends.  In metro areas nationwide, The Villages had the 6th highest percentage of growth between 2017 and 2018.  The population of the popular retirement community went from about 125,000 to just under 129,000, or about a 3.1% increase.  By comparison, Ocala saw an increase of 1.8% for the same time period.