Mayor Betterton's Weekly Update

July 22, 2021

Due to the State of Alabama paving project along Court Street and Dr. Hicks Blvd., the loop detectors have been disabled. Traffic signals will be on default timing sequence until the project is complete. Thank you for your patience!

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2021 WC Festival
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National Park and Recreation Month is well underway. The Park and Recreation department hit it out of the PARK with Kids Fest, Luau, and an Exercise Expo. The City of Florence has over 1000 acres of green space and beautiful parks for residents. Join us in the celebration by visiting a park this month or attending an event. Don't forget to include #GetYourPlayOnFlorence when sharing on social media.

Bark In The Park Day - July 22

Kayaking on Cypress - July 26

Royal Avenue Pool Party with Live DJ - July 28

Handy Pool Party with Live DJ - July 30

"The Club" Luau

2021 Luau
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Thank you, Big Brothers Big Sisters & Council Member Kaytrina Simmons, for all you do for our community!

Wednesday afternoon, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals and Council Member Kaytrina P. Simmons hosted one of their many events for kids in our community. The Fantastic Bubble Party was over the top and so much fun. Check out the link below for more information on the organization and how to get involved!
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Thank you, Florence City Schools, for literally going the extra mile to feed our children!

Mayor Betterton had the privilege to serve on the Falcon Feeder along with Child Nutrition Director Tara Talmage, Dr. Christopher Westbrook, and Carter Watkins. Feed the Falcons is an extraordinary program that delivers meals across the city twice a week to all kids under the age of eighteen.

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From the late 1800's to approximately 1915, Florence, like other towns across much of the United States, lived under the threat of outbreaks of smallpox. One method of dealing with it was the practice of quarantine. It was not uncommon to pass by a house with a large sign in front warning people not to enter the house because the family was under a quarantine order. City officials, in collaboration with local medical doctors, also determined that it would be advantageous to build a "pest" house ("pest" as the shortened form of "pestilence") on Cypress Creek so that certain infected people could be removed from the city entirely. The pest house site became not just a single house, but a collection of houses. At times, some of the infected people actually lived in tents at the site. A newspaper account during that period tells of the pastor of a local African-American church contracting smallpox while making a pastoral visit in the home of a family, some of whose members were infected and had to be relocated to the pest house. The pastor himself became infected, and his congregation built him a small house at the pest house site. Though the site was eventually closed, the specter of smallpox remained for decades. As late as the 1950's, nurses from the Lauderdale County Health Department routinely went to local schools and vaccinated the students -- much to the chagrin of the students, of course.

Billy Warren, City Historian

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New Business – Opening Thursday, July 22

Reclaimed Spirit Home

2530 Florence Boulevard #E


owner: Stacey Hamner

Stacey Hamner, Owner of Reclaimed Spirit, will be opening a sister store to her home & gift shop downtown. Reclaimed Spirit Home will be located at 2530 Florence Boulevard next to Yummies Bakery. The new shop will have upscale homewares, accent furniture and décor, gifts, and many more special items. Plan to see their new space on Thursday, July 22 at 10:00 a.m.

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Happening at the Florence-Lauderdale Library

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library is closing out its successful Summer Reading Program (SRP) this month. Patrons from the youngest to the oldest are still collecting tickets to redeem for prizes. Tickets are earned for each book they read. Grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the month to those who have read the most books during SRP.

SRP this year was the first full in-person programming since the pandemic began, and patrons were eager to get back to their library! The numbers are phenomenal!

In Youth Services, which is for children ages infant to 11 years, as of July 20, there were 904 participants in the 63 daily SRP activities from June and July. Tickets for books read thus far total more than 35,000! The estimated total attendance for June and July is 2, 201!

Teens also returned to the library in large numbers. During the six weeks of SRP, 426 teens attended the 46 daily programs. And library staffers learned that teens love Take and Make bags of crafts - 100 of those were distributed!

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Check out the list of upcoming events...

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A little laugh...

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The Mayor and Council members will hold the next council meeting on

Tuesday, August 2, 2021

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be submitted by attaching an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web. Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT: Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner). Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication. The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to or call Rachel Koonce with questions at 256-760-6494.