Franklin County continues beach closures; closes boat ramps to non-residents

Franklin County

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Franklin County has followed the Governor’s orders, closing their beaches for some time now

continuing that beach closure was a hot topic of discussion at Thursday’s County Commission meeting. Commissioners say their top priority is keeping their residents safe.

Originally the beach closure was set to end Thursday night at sunset, now Commissioners have extended the beach closure until the state of emergency is lifted for the State of Florida.

“We’re all just come together to try to make our community safe for everybody and work through this Coronavirus Pandemic that we’re done with right now even though we’re a rural county we do have enough sense to comply with CDC guidelines and that’s what we’re trying to do.” said Franklin County Commissioner, Joseph “Smokey” Parrish.

A big advocate for continuing the beach closure was Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith, who says deputies have seen lots of out of state license plates coming into their area. Leading Commissioners to also close boat ramps to anyone who is not a resident, effective Thursday night.

“That’s been one of the issues we’ve seen, is a lot of people out of town are coming here to go fishing and we’re telling them we’re closed for business but they’re still coming so now the boat ramps are closed so if you’re not a resident or a property owner here don’t come here to go fishing because we’re closed.” said Franklin County Sheriff, A.J. Smith.

With all of these closures the sheriff’s office is looking to implement checkpoints at the four entrances to Franklin County to keep out of town residents from entering.

“A lot of our businesses are closed just essential businesses are open so there’s really no reason for anybody to come here, there’s no shopping in Apalachicola the hotels are even close, the rental properties are closed, so really no reason for anybody to be here till we get through this.” said Sheriff A.J. Smith.

The sheriffs office still needs state approval to be able to implement these checkpoints, but hope to begin those as soon as possible.

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