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News from Quincy

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 7:49 PM EDT

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) – More than soda and more than a fresh coat of paint; the city of Quincy has unveiled its new Coca-Cola mural to recognize more than 100 years of history.

Dozens of community members and elected officials gathered Tuesday morning to relieve that history.

Stories from families sharing their parents working at the first bottling plant in Quincy, or having several generations do the same. The mural has become an iconic part of downtown and, officials say, restoring it is restoring part of the city’s identity.

“There are two things that rise above the rest when you talk about the city of Quincy: That’s shade tree tobacco and Coca-Cola,” said Quincy Mayor Ronte Harris.

During the ceremony city leaders revisited the history between Quincy and Coca Cola.

As the story goes, Quincy banker Pat Monroe was one of the first major investors in the company. After persuading several other residents to do the same, nearly seventy people in the town became known as the ‘Coca Cola Millionaires.’

At one point, Quincy was the richest city per capita in the U.S.

Mayor Pro Tem Angela Sapp says that impacted everyone.

Mayo Woodward, Pat Monroe, says this history is really about the love they have for the city.

“They feel strongly about it, about what the city did for them,” he said. “It’s not just Coca-Cola, but the city and with the people in this city, what it means to them.

A wall with few words, but countless stories to tell.

Mayor Harris says this is just the start of several other projects to revitalize downtown as part of the Recovery and Resiliency Partnership Project (R2D2) to rebuild after being devastated by Hurricane Michael.

“We have a strategic plan to bring life back to our downtown. We took a big hit during Hurricane Michael, and you can see some of the remnants, you can see some of the damages that are still here,” Harris said. “But that plan is in place through a multitude of funding sources to start revitalizing downtown.”

The city is working to build space to socialize, improve downtown intersections and develop a nature trail.

 


Quincy Residents Dealing with Aftermath of Weekend Flooding

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 19, 2019

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) — Quincy city officials say heavy rain and inadequate sized drainage caused flooding on several streets in Quincy, adding a blown out transformer also caused non-contaminated oil to spill.

Over the weekend, WCTV showed video of Flagler Street completely under water. It had all dried up by late Monday morning, but residents say they’re surprised there was that much flooding in the first place.

Markeyshia Monroe Hardy recorded a Facebook live video of the flooding on Flagler Street.

“It was very shocking to see a neighborhood where you grew up in have waist-deep water,” she said. “That’s unheard of. We’re not near any rivers or lakes, so to have waist-deep water in this area is shocking.”

“As you can see the water line here, it shows you that it was clearly throughout my home,” explained Marlinda Johnson, who says about eight inches of water were inside of her house.

The City of Quincy provided sandbags Thursday night before the water started to rise.

“[The water went] Over the sandbags and into every house in the room,” said Johnson.

You can see the waterline on Johnson’s yard fence. The water is estimated to reach about two feet high.

“It’s disheartening. In making repairs and trying to clean up things, I found my wedding dress, which had been preserved in a box,” Johnson continued. “It’s probably going to be totally destroyed. It’s things like that that make me kind of sad.”

Helen Jackson says her granddaughter couldn’t drive to her first day of college classes Monday because her car was flooded out and wouldn’t crank.

“You can tell where the water level was,” Jackson showed. “It was all the way up here.”

The water level is not the only thing still visible.

Inside, water still sits on the floor of the entire sedan, from the front to the back.

Water stains were left on the car seats.

“This is not something that just started,” Jackson said. “This has been going on for years. They’ve been telling us that they’re going to fix it. But, they’re not fixing anything. I’m just tired of it.”

“It’s a question of people wanting to pay for what they want sometimes,” said Quincy City Manager Jack McLean. “Right now, we’ve heard that they want to keep their property taxes low. It calls for resources to be able to do what we have to do.”

McLean says the city has plans and engineering studies done o that area in the past and says the city commission will be looking at the current plan to see what can be done.


WCTV on the City of Quincy Re-Roofing

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 31, 2019

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) — Quincy city officials are working out a way to help those in need of repairs from Hurricane Michael.

The City Commission approved the use of funds to fix damaged roofs in a special meeting on Tuesday.

Officials say it started with their new program called “Customer Facing,” where they’ve gone to neighborhoods asking what they need.

They say that’s when they noticed all the blue tarps in the area and just how much people still needed help from the storm.

Gary Betton, a Quincy resident, still has visible damage on his house from the storm.

“Still have a tarp,” he said. “Been on there quite a while now.”

A blue tarp has covered his entire roof since the storm in October. Betton says he and his wife haven’t been able to afford to fix it, especially with other damage costs and bills piling up.

“It just kept accumulating and accumulating,” Betton said. “I said to myself, ‘Something has got to give.’ I was praying and hoping that God would send someone through to help me with that process to keep it moving.”

Recently, city officials walked the area of Arlington Circle, giving Betton a chance to voice his concerns face-to-face.

“It stuck on the back of our mind, like, we got to do something,” explained Mayor Keith Dowdell.

The City Commission has approved funding to go toward repairing or replacing roofs damaged from the hurricane.

“When we find a real problem, it’s the job of the City Commission to come up with problem solving to ensure that we take care of our citizens,” Dowdell said.

Dowdell says the money will be taken from a $250,000 improvement project that was originally budgeted to reconstruct the ditch at the intersection of Shelfter and Hamilton streets.

The mayor says they won’t forget about the ditch project and that it’s possible it’ll be added to next year’s budget.

Dowdell adds the city has a list of those homes with tarps and should be contacting residents to start helping with their roofs.


Fire Station #2 to be Renamed After Former Fire Chief Howard Smith

After 32 years of service Fire Chief Howard Smith retired from City of Quincy Fire Department. Chief Smith served as Fire Chief his last 6 years on his tenure with the City. The City of Quincy will be renaming Fire Station #2 after Chief Smith in the upcoming months.

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Quincy Schools Rank Top In State

Parents,students and the community as a whole are proud of our local schools. Two schools raised the bar for excelling in merit in education. We are proud to say that Gadsden Elementary Magnet School ranked number 10  and Stewart Street Elementary School  ranked number 25 for best school in Florida.There are 1,862 elementary schools in Florida.

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